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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

The Coach Wooden Post Office

  

Jan 6, 2006
Opinion-Editorial

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is a long-time San Fernando Valley resident.  To commemorate his many accomplishments and his contributions to our community, I have introduced legislation to name the Reseda post office after the coach.

I had the privilege of watching Wooden coach the Bruins to Pac-10 and NCAA championships each season while I was a student at UCLA. He steered Bill Walton and the virtually invincible Bruins to one national championship after another in the early ˜70s. The coach led UCLA to victory so often that someone said he made the concept of the NCAA tournament a farce.  Under his guidance, the Bruins had four perfect 30-0 seasons, 88 consecutive victories, 38 straight NCAA tournament victories, 20 Pac-10 championships, and 10 national championships, including a winning streak of seven in a row.

Sports columnist Jim Murray once said Coach Wooden was œso square he was divisible by four, but the truth is his Pyramid of Success multiplied the talents of his players and others inspired by the coachs inspirational leadership.  Off the court, Wooden shared his wisdom in books like Wooden on Leadership, My Personal Best: Life Lessons From an All-American Journey and Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success. The coach taught his players and all of us how to be successful in life.

Wooden also was a standout college player at Purdue University before he became the most successful coach in college basketball history. Wooden was named College Player of the Year in 1932, when he starred on the Boilermaker team that won the national championship. He is one of only three people enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

Wooden, 95, has lived in Encino for the past three decades.  (The Encino post office was named for Lakers sportscaster Chick Hearn in 2002.) His daughter, Nancy Anne Muehlhausen, lives in Reseda.

Passing this bill through all the hoops in Congress should be a slam dunk.  I am proud to have the opportunity to propose this honor for a great American.