Does John Wooden Have a Say?

Yes he does.

The Wizard of Westwood’s grandson was at the XL Center to see the UConn women win their 89th consecutive game, breaking the record set by his grandfather’s teams in the early 70s.  

This is what he told the AP, when asked about a women’s team breaking a record set by men:

Greg Wooden said in the last decade of his life, coach Wooden thought the best basketball was being played at the collegiate level, “and it wasn’t by the men.”

He said his grandfather believed that women’s teams, especially Connecticut, were playing his style of basketball, and liked the way they emphasized team above all else.

“He liked the way they passed the ball, the way they had quite a few stars who could have scored probably a lot more points on other teams, but were willing to sacrifice for the best of the team.”

Can we let it go now?  (I know, stupid question.)


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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8 Responses to Does John Wooden Have a Say?

  1. Lou Lange says:

    I think that Greg Wooden’s pronouncement by his grandfather puts it completely to rest!

  2. Bob Porrazzo says:

    Greg, your grandpa John taught you well.

  3. Mary says:

    What an honor to have Mr. Wooden’s grandson at the XL Center, such a class act the whole Wooden family.

  4. James says:

    As Yogi would say, “It’s deja vu, all over again!” I can’t help but laugh when people complain that the UConn women’s record doesn’t mean as much as the mens’ because they don’t have any real competition, etc. etc. I’m old enough to remember the run that UCLA men’s team had in the late 60s and early 70s, and the comments were similar then. There were even people who wanted the NCAA to change its recruiting policies, limiting a team to a small number of super-players, so that other Div 1 teams had a chance of winning!

    While Geno is much more of a outspoken individual, there are many similarities between he and Wooden. They both care as much about the development of their players as human beings as they do as basketball players. They convinced their players that greatness was more meaningful when attained by the team as opposed to individuals. And, they continued to be available to their players after they moved on.

    When John Wooden died, individuals like Kareem Abdul Jabar and Bill Walton – both known for their “strong” personalities – acknowledged the important role that Wooden had played in their lives. I’m certain that when the day comes and Geno passes, we’ll be hearing similar comments from Rebecca, Sue, Diana and maybe even Svet.

    I can’t remember who made the comment, Greatness attained is difficult, greatness maintained is almost impossible. However, it certainly applies to both the UConn women’s team and the UCLA men’s team – in spades.

    • Gerry says:

      James, absolutely brilliant. Thank you.

    • Li'l Em-Kel says:

      I agree, James.

      In a very real and defensible sense any team in any sport that wins 89 games in a row doesn’t have much competition. It’s a freakin’ tautology, man!

      • James says:

        I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you’re absolutely spot-on. In order to win 89 in a row you have to be so far above the competition that even on a bad day – you win!

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