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Issue 191 - Honors are Very Fleeting, Just as Fame is - Cherish Friendship More

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 4 Issue 191
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



The contributions of John Wooden were recognized on May 2, 1983, when UCLA unveiled the $9.6 million John Wooden Recreation and Sports Center. The most honored player and coach in hoops history downplayed the event in characteristic style, saying, "Honors are fleeting, just as fame is. I cherish friendship more."
On June 26th, 1999 at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas I attended the 33rd annual Victor Awards, the longest running sports awards show in the history of television, with Coach Wooden and his granddaughter (my wife) Christy. Coach was presented with a beautiful gold Oscar like statue for being one of the living legends of sports of the twentieth century.
Upon sitting back down next to Christy, Coach handed her the beautiful statue and said Honey, I would like you to have this. It stands in our home to this day as a reminder of what is really important: friendship.
On August 8th,.2003 in a small auditorium at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, California, Coach Wooden’s friend Jim Harris, the Basketball Coach of the Ocean View Seahawks, presented Coach Wooden with a small but lovely statue of a Seahawk. The plaque on the statue read The Golden Seahawk Award. Coach Harris gave it to Coach in appreciation for the many years Coach Wooden had voluntarily come to speak at his basketball camp, three times each summer.
On the UCLA Campus in the Hall of Fame there is a room called Coach Wooden’s Den. After Coach passed away, the UCLA Athletic Department took Coach Wooden’s Den from his condo and reassembled it onsite in the Hall of Fame.
The statue of the Seahawk is sill where it was when Coach was alive, on a small table next to Coach Wooden’s favorite chair. It stands there to this day as a reminder of what is really important: friendship.
This short verse written by Coach Wooden sums up his feelings on friendship beautifully:
At times when I am feeling low,
I hear from a friend and then
My worries start to go away
And I am on the mend.

In spite of all that doctors know,
And their studies never end,
The best cure of all when spirits fall
Is a kind note from a friend.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


The Man with a Hoe


Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back, the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?
Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?
Is this the dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this--
More tongued with cries against the world's blind greed--
More filled with signs and portents for the soul--
More packed with danger to the universe.

Charles Edward Anson Markham 






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