It feels only appropriate that as a fellow Bruin, I should pay homage to the late, great John Wooden. Beyond just a great basketball coach, he was a lover of Christ, a man who devoted himself to loving his family and his Lord. He won a record 88 straight games when he coached the UCLA Bruins Men’s Basketball team from 1948-1975. He won 10 NCAA Basketball Championships, coached numerous Hall of Fame basketball players, and developed the Pyramid of Success.
But beyond all that, he was a faithful Christian through and through. He was a Christian for many years and his beliefs were more important to him than basketball, “I have always tried to make it clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior,” he said. He was so adamant about his faith that he wanted to make sure his faith was apparent to others saying, “If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me.”
Here’s a piece by ESPN that illustrates John Wooden’s tremendous loyalty and his confidence in glory after death.
Here’s a poem recited by Wooden about the peace he has in seeing the Lord.
I know you are with the Lord for you have been faithful. Thank you for glorifying Christ in all that you did and for reminding us all that death is not death when you know you will be glorified with Christ on high. Though we mourn your passing here on earth, we know the angels are rejoicing in heaven as you are reunited with Nell and even more, your faith has become sight and you are with our Lord Jesus Christ in eternal peace.