As a young girl I fell in love with the game of basketball. I believe I ate, slept and breathed hoops my first 15 years and often say my biggest accomplishment was shooting over 1,000 baskets in my front yard in one afternoon just for practice, but being just shy of 5'3" with long legs and arms minus a torso my dream of playing Point Guard in the WNBA was never fulfilled. Though my love of basketball isn't as strong as it once was, I always looked up to legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden. You don't have to be a sports fan to know who he is, in fact you've probably heard or recited one of his many well known quotes along the way –
"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” John Wooden
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." John Wooden
John and Nell Wooden "at home in Terre Haute, Indiana, 1948. John Wooden had just been hired as head basketball coach at UCLA." – Achievement.org
On Friday evening, the world received word of Wooden's passing. At 99 years of age, his legacy will live on through his words, teachings, love of the game and of life. What many didn't know was how devoted he was to his beloved late wife, Nell who passed away in 1985. John would visit her grave once a month, (write and) leave love letters underneath her pillow. Bill Plaschke of Fox 4 stated that Wooden had a "photo of Nell propped up above the pillow where she slept. Below that photo, in the middle of the bed, was a bundle of carefully scripted letters, all in the same intricate handwriting." All written to her by her beloved husband.
"I obviously don't have anywhere to send them," he said. "But I had to write them anyway".
"I miss telling her things."
The world needs more John Wooden's.