John Wooden, arguably (and this comes from a Duke fan and graduate) the best college basketball coach of all time, left us four months short of 100 years of age.
His impact on the game of basketball, both as player and coach, dwarfs all others. His impact on those that were in contact with him was even greater.
Matthew May expressed the true legacy of Coach Wooden well at American Thinker:
The sadness of Wooden’s passing is not necessarily that he no longer walks with us here – indeed, he is no doubt happier to be reunited with his wife who preceded him in death all too soon, a woman to whom he wrote letters long after her demise. No, the sadness is that the death of John Wooden is the quiet extinction of a bright light from our past, when the fundamentals of the game and of our lives were not treated as quaint anachronisms but the recognized and undisputed paths to goodness and success.
We would do well to honor the life of John Wooden by studying and emulating the lessons he learned and the lessons he taught. They are as applicable in everyone’s lives as they are on any basketball court.
Wooden was a great man. His greatness exceeded his enormous accomplishments in basketball. His former players, to a man, regularly state that he taught them more about life than basketball. His lessons should be studied by all. He embodied the best of true American values.
Below is Jon Bois’s choice of the ten best Wooden quotes. Given the wisdom of the man, others might disagree with his selection.
10. The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.
9. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.
8. Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.
7. Never mistake activity for achievement.
6. Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.
5. Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
4. Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
3. Ability is a poor man’s wealth.
2. Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
1. You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
Read Matthew May’s tribute to Coach Wooden at American Thinker.
Also read this additional collection of quotes from John Wooden.