Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wisdom From The Wizard

By Jill Painter
L.A. Daily News

'It's the things you learn after you know it all that count.'

HE'S 96 NOW, but legendary basketball coach John Wooden still holds
close the values passed on by his father when he graduated from grammar

In fact, tucked in his pocket is a copy of the seven-point
creed his dad gave him that day, planting the seed in a boy who became
known not only for his prowess on the court, but as a role model for

And now those sentiments about life - among them, "Don't
measure yourself by what you've accomplished, but what you should
accomplish with your abilities" - will grace a new line of
inspirational print products, from greeting cards to office supplies.

Wooden, who led UCLA to 10 national championships, is touched.

people agree that the greatest joy is to learn that something you've
said or done has been meaningful to others," Wooden said in a recent

"I'm happy they think something I've said or done has been meaningful to another."

been 32 years since Wooden coached a championship Bruins team, but his
message - one that has little to do with basketball and much to do with
life - is more popular than ever.

Wooden and Steve Jamison,
who's co-authored most of his books, are writing another children's
book after the popularity of "Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success."
Quotes, advice and his definition of success will decorate calendars
and to-do lists, and his maxims will embellish an elementary school

Wooden also has a contract with General Mills for the John Wooden Leadership Course.

there's the line of greeting cards being produced by Shade Tree
Greeting Co., of New York, which mounted successful lines carrying
inspirational thoughts from Ray Charles and Christopher Reeve.

Steve Hallowell, Shade Tree's vice president of sales and
marketing, got hooked on Wooden's literary work after reading an
Esquire magazine article that included some of the coach's quotes.

The only question was if others would be equally receptive. A focus group of 60 people provided the answer.

"Seventy-five percent of the people didn't know who he was at all," Hallowell said, "but they loved his thoughts."

cards are still in the development stage, with releases scheduled in
August and January. Conceivably, one could mail a Wooden card from the
U.S. post office in Reseda that was renamed in Wooden's honor last

"There's some very powerful learning that can be put into greeting cards," Hallowell said.

look at them as cards that can encourage, motivate and inspire a broad
group of people. Some are blank inside, so a person can add their own
ideas. On some, we put one of Coach's maxims on the front. Some, you
learn more about him through a story or more information.

"The response (through market research) is that people just loved it."

Wooden has long explained his teaching methods and motivational techniques through books and personal appearances.

can now enjoy his ideas through his Web site -
- which Jamison just updated, adding video interviews with a dapper
Wooden taped in the office of his Encino home.

And, of course, the Web site includes Wooden's famed
Pyramid of Success, an invention of 25 behaviors he believes help an
individual achieve competitive greatness.

John Russett, vice president of manufacturing for General
Mills, which hosts Wooden's leadership academies, says he's learned to
communicate better with his employees using the former coach's lessons.

"General Mills is constantly looking for different ways to
develop our organization's search for the gold standard in whatever
we're doing," Russett said. "Clearly, he's a gold standard for teaching
and coaching. His message can cut across so many different levels. We
believe everyone is a leader and can benefit from his teachings."

Basketball great Bill Walton, the star of Wooden's
championship teams in 1972 and 1973, never paid much attention to
Wooden's maxims while playing for the Bruins, but he lives by them now.

Two of Wooden's better-known adages hang on the wall of
Walton's home office in San Diego: "Everything you know and learned is
from someone else," and "Most of what we learn is what not to do. It's
the things you learn after you know it all that count."

"The thing about John Wooden, he's like a great rock 'n'
roll song by (Bob) Dylan or (Jerry) Garcia or Neil Young or Crosby,
Stills & Nash or Carlos Santana," Walton said. "They're timeless,
even though the words are the same and the music is the same. Every day
your situation and experience in life gives you a different
relationship to that song, that person."

Walton talks with Wooden by phone every day and frequently
visits his mentor. And while he went on to a 13-year NBA career and is
now a courtside analyst for ESPN, Walton's favorite memories include
his former coach.

"There aren't enough adjectives in the dictionary to
describe the joy, the happiness, the positive upbeat nature and the
sense of hope that anybody who has been touched by John Wooden or UCLA
has. You can't adequately convey how perfect, how special it was.

"I don't think any of us had any idea what Coach Wooden meant to us while we played for him."

the Bruins players and their fans were familiar with the coach's
teachings, it wasn't until the publication of "Wooden" a decade ago
that the franchise really took off.

"The book came at a time when it put Coach back in front of
people again," Jamison said. "It brought him back to the public in a
way that didn't just talk about 10 national championships ... All of a
sudden, people went, `Holy cow! What a great person.' They looked at
John Wooden again."

Most of Wooden's keys to success come from philosophies
instilled by his father. He has a seven-point creed - where the popular
phrase "make each day your masterpiece" came from - which his father
gave him. He still keeps a copy in his pocket and has copies to give to
friends, family and fans.

"A lot of it comes into play about the origin of how my
definition of success came about," Wooden said. "It came from my father
Joshua, who said never try to be better than somebody else.

"Never cease trying to be the best you can be, whether it's you or me or someone else."

[reprinted with permission]


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kevin Love Wins National Prep Athlete Award

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA-bound Kevin Love of Lake Oswego High School was named 2006-07 Gatorade National Boys Basketball
Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only athletic performance, but also
meeting high standards of academic achievement while demonstrating
exemplary personal character on and off the court, distinguished Love
as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player.

The senior center averaged 33.6 points, 17 rebounds, four assists
and three blocks per game in leading the Lakers (26-2) to the Class 6A
title game.
The 6'10 260 lb Love was named a McDonald’s All-American, the
nation’s Naismith player of the year and a three-time Oregonian state
player of the year – the first-ever three-time boys basketball winner.
For his career, in which he broke a 50-year-old state record for points
scored (finishing with 2,628), he averaged 26.8 points and 14.5
rebounds per game.  He led Lake
Oswego to a 92-21 record in his four-year varsity career.

Love has maintained a B-average in the classroom and shines as an
active volunteer in his community, serving as a youth basketball coach
as well as a visiting mentor for at-risk students at a local elementary
school. As part of a school fundraiser, Love auctioned off his time by
offering a private skills clinic to the highest bidder.

“His ability to dominate at both ends of the floor is pretty
historic at the high school level,” said Lake Oswego head coach Mark
Shoff. “This state has produced players like Richard Washington and
Danny Ainge, who went on to great college and pro careers, but we’ve
never had anyone of Kevin’s caliber at this point in his career. I
think he’s truly set himself apart.”

The son of Stan Love, a former NBA player and Oregon Duck, Kevin
Love will attend UCLA on a basketball scholarship this fall. He joins
two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis (1996-97, Crossroads High
School/Santa Monica, CA) as UCLA recruits named Gatorade National Boys
Basketball Player of the Year.

Love is nearing the end of his first week of summer classes at

"I'm from Oregon, so I'm not used to the sunshine all the time,
so that's not a big adjustment," he said. "College is going to be
a lot of fun. Coach Howland has done such a great job. I
really wanted to come in and learn defense from him and learn his
style of play. It fits me perfectly."

"I know they've gone to two consecutive Final Fours and
hopefully, we'll take it all the way this year," he said.

Recent Gatorade National Boys Basketball
Players of the Year include two-time winner Greg Oden, Dwight Howard, and two-time winner
LeBron James.

Connecticut-bound Maya Moore took home the women's national honors.

(photo credit: AP)


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (7/9)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Jrue Holiday of Campbell Hall High School in North Hollywood verbally committed to the UCLA basketball program today.Holiday, a 6'3 180 lb guard, averaged 23.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 6.4
assists, and 4.2 steals a game in leading his team to the state
Division IV championship last season. He also shot 57% from the field
and 42% from three point distance. Bruin Basketball Report 7/2

Jrue Holiday's high school coach at Campbell Hall, Terry Kelly, thinks the Bruins are in great shape.
"I just got off the phone with one of their assistant coaches. We were talking about their classes in the last two years, and what they have coming in is just unbelievable. It looks like a class that can pick up all of the pieces and really have a great couple of years," Kelly said.
"You mix in Kevin Love and those amazing outlet passes and that is special. Jrue is going to get out and run the floor. I love Jerime Anderson. Drew Gordon is another greyhound. And Malcolm Lee has a chance to be an absolute star. Jrue has done a great job of surrounding himself with great players. I think they have a National Championship type of class."
Credit that to the underappreciated work of Howland and his staff. USA Today 7/5

RBK U: Malcolm Lee is a tremendously gifted and natural scorer. Scouts love his still-developing 6-foot-4 frame, along with his ability to create in traffic and kick-start a fast break. Lee chose UCLA over the likes of Arizona, Arizona State and California.  The Bulletin 7/6

It's tough to satisfy fans sometimes. You are right Rico, the Bruins haven't brought in a 7-footer recently. However, Howland has brought in pretty much everything else. Next year he will have a post player who might not be 7 feet tall, but Kevin Love was the top center in the 2007 class. Rivals 7/6

Adidas Takes Five: Jerime Anderson- The UCLA bound point guard had his A game going against the Atlanta Celtics. He was explosive to the rim on the fast break and shot the ball well from behind the arc. Gator Bait 7/6

Jrue Holiday is 6-3, 180 pounds, and on the floor he looks as smooth and
agile as his dimensions suggest. But he plays with the tenacity of a
260-pound defensive end. When he is knocked to the floor, which happens
now and then in basketball, he jumps to his feet as if to show everyone
involved he didn't feel a thing. Sporting News 7/7


Point Guard (3 in Top 50) –  We think the position is going to eventually show its depth and we’re being patient as a host of players mature physically. Elijah Johnson has the most talent of the bunch and he’s transitioning to the position. Peyton Siva defies the odds with his size and Mfon Udofia is on the rise. Lookout For: Jared Cunningham. If his body develops sky is the limit. Scout 7/2

The University of Miami finished last in the ACC
men's basketball standings last season, but the Hurricanes received a
big boost for the future Thursday when one of the nation's top post
players said he would come to Coral Gables in 2008. Los Angeles Price High's Tyreese Breshers, a 6-foot-7 power forward
ranked among the nation's top 100 players by and Palm Beach Post 7/5

Only a freshman, Jeremy Tyler already boasts a body and athleticism superior to many of the power forwards drafted in this past week’s NBA Draft. He is ridiculously long and athletic, seen doing windmill dunks from 12 feet away from the basket and completely making his presence felt on the defensive end throughout the game against players two years his elder. The California big man is not overly skilled at the moment, but he has three years before he will even be enrolling in college and four before he is even eligible to consider the NBA. James is surely a name that fans should keep in mind though, as he is currently the top post prospect that the class of 2010 has to offer. Draft Express 7/7

(photo credit: LA Times)


Afflalo Leads Pistons in Summer League Opener

By Bruin Basketball Report

In his first professional game, NBA rookie Arron Afflalo sparked the Detroit Pistons to a 91-89 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas Summer League action yesterday.

Afflalo scored five points over the final two minutes of the fourth
quarter to help rally the Pistons and force an overtime period.

In the shortened two-minute overtime, Afflalo hit a three-pointer
and then assisted on the game winning shot by fellow rookie Sammy Mejia.

"€œI knew they were going to double Arron, he had just made two
shots,"€ Mejia explained about the game-winning shot. "I just tried to
give him space to create. He penetrated and kicked it out, gave me a
great pass and I was able to make the shot."

Not surprising to Bruin fans, Afflalo's presence was also noticed on the defensive end. When 76er's point guard Louis Williams started rolling in the fourth quarter - he finished with 32 points - Afflalo asked the coaches to be switched onto him. On the final possession of regulation, Afflalo's one-on-one perimeter defense forced Williams into a desperation airball.

"He took the challenge,"€ Piston's Summer League Coach Terry Porter said. "He came to me and said he wanted
to guard him. That'€™s one of his strong points. He has to be able to
guard at this level. He'€™s going to get better and better as he learns
the angles, but I think he has a knack for that."

"I want to win every game," Afflalo said. "I don't care what I'm doing.
Regardless, I want to win every time. It felt like the Final Four to

Afflalo finished with 14 points on 5 of 13 shooting in 31 minutes.  Fellow Piston first-rounder Rodney Stuckey also scored 14.

"€œI didn'€™t have a great first half," Afflalo said. "I bounced back a
little bit and found my rhythm in the second half. I calmed down a
little bit."€

NBA Summer League in Las Vegas runs through July 15.

(photo credit: NBA)