A ‘masterpiece’ of a day: Hundreds gather at UCLA to honor Coach John Wooden

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Coach John Wooden, who was fond of encouraging people to “make each day your masterpiece,” would likely have appreciated the celebratory scene that unfolded this afternoon outside Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.

On the occasion of the U.S. Postal Service issuing its Forever stamp commemorating the late, legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach, some 300 people turned out — including fans, former players, coaches, family members, post office officials and Chancellor Gene Block —  to share memories of Wooden and to honor his legacy as sports icon and teacher whose homespun wisdom and life lessons have resonated far beyond the basketball court.

► Read more about the commemorative stamp and Wooden’s career

Wooden, who coached at UCLA from 1948 to 1975 and led his teams to 10 national championships, including seven in a row, “built up a set of principles for success that could be applied in any setting — on the court, in the classroom, in the boardroom, even at home,” Chancellor Block told the crowd at Pauley, not far from the Wooden statue that graces the arena’s north entrance.

“We take enormous pride in the fact that the U.S. Postal Service has added to Coach Wooden’s legacy with today’s honor,” Block said. “A USPS Forever stamp can be used as postage in perpetuity, never to expire. That is quite appropriate for a man whose eternal, timeless wisdom will continue to shape lives for centuries to come.”

Read more on UCLA Newsroom here.