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John Wooden: An American Treasure Hardcover – October 1, 2004
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Bisheff's book is like getting a rare inside look at the greatest dynasty in the history of college sports. -- Dick Weiss, New York Daily News
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This definitive biography would be more complete if the author had included a bibliography but for some mysterious reason this was omitted. John Wooden was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts as a player and a coach. He is generally considered to have been the greatest college basketball coach of all time. This book is also remiss in that it doesn't include numerous details of John's professional playing career for the Indianapolis Kautskys in the 1930's after John graduated from Purdue University having been an All-American for three years. The author mentions that John Wooden once sank at least one hundred consecutive free throws while playing for the Indianapolis Kautskys. However the author's citation of this incident is vaguely imprecise. In a personal communication with me John Wooden confided that he sank 134 consecutive free throws for the Indianapolis Kautskys. John stated to me that Frank Kautsky personally gave him a one hundred dollar bill after John had sunk his one hundredth free throw in a row. John's 134 consecutive free throws sunk in competitive league play is the all-time record on the professional, collegiate or high school level.
I have always admired John Wooden's life-style values and coaching philosophy.Read more ›
Imagine that you only heard a canary sing. Would you be able to figure out everything else about what canaries are like just from the song?
In this book, Steve Bisheff added a lot to my understanding of Mr. Wooden by revealing what he was like as a player and how he conducted himself after retiring from UCLA. My appreciation for the man as a man went way up.
As you know, some very successful basketball coaches aren't necessarily the nicest people in the world. Mr. Wooden seems to be the exception to the rule to the old saying that nice guys finish last. He really was a nice guy, and that certainly didn't get into his way.
Those who haven't read any books about his coaching philosophy will find this book to provide plenty of what's needed.
Naturally, the book is incomplete . . . focusing more on the man's character than on how he became a great coach. Those who want to learn to improve their coaching will be able to learn from this book what Mr. Wooden was doing at his peak but will get a lot fewer insights into how he learned the lessons that allowed him to flourish.
But in these days when there are lots of characters, but not many men of character, I'm pleased that Mr. Bisheff chose to take that approach.
of John Wooden in this thorough biography. The book is well written,
and well organized. It's for both the low-information sports fan and the
fan that thinks they know everything there is to know about Wooden,