Another Tough Weekend in WestwoodPosted by rtmsf on June 12th, 2010
The storied UCLA basketball program has had a tough academic year, and certainly fans and alumni of the program are looking forward to a brighter days ahead after a graduation weekend that saw their current head coach going under the knife for a torn Achilles tendon and their legendary former coach laid to rest after passing away last weekend. Reports surfaced today that Ben Howland had surgery on Friday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to repair his right Achilles and is now resting comfortably at home, but it isn’t clear whether the stoic Bruin hurt his foot after leaping with joy over news about the NCAA’s recent hammering of the USC athletic department. Seriously, though, we wish the coach well on his recovery and we hope that for his program’s sake this injury represents the last in a long string of unfortunate ailments that his program suffered in 2009-10.
As for the other piece of it, the titan of UCLA athletics known as John Robert Wooden was laid to rest on Friday in a private ceremony held in the Hollywood Hills at Old North Church. Not too far away at last night’s UCLA graduation for the College of Letters and Science, each of the nearly 5,000 graduating students carried blue and gold flags to commemorate the coach’s influence on the university as photos cycled on the big screen behind the podium. From the UCLA press release:
Among the student flag bearers was Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, a popular basketball player known for his sportsmanship and dedication to hard work in his studies and on the court. “Carrying in this flag is the least of what we can do for Coach,” Abdul-Hamid said. “It’s our way of honoring someone who honored us with all that he did. He carried the whole weight of this university for many years. He is and always will be our role model.” The spirit of the coach who won 10 NCAA basketball titles for UCLA and started a college basketball dynasty that remains unrivaled was pervasive as speakers alluded to Wooden’s life of grace and integrity.
A public ceremony will be held for Wooden on June 26 at Pauley Pavilion, but prior to that, local affiliate KTLA will be airing a one-hour tribute of the Top Bruin’s life on Sunday night at 9 pm PDT. We’re going to try to get our paws on that to distribute to the world if we can.