The Wizard and His Protege

John Wooden would go down as one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball, or any other sport, leading his UCLA Bruins to 10 national championships over a 12-season span from 1964-1975. His teams also won 88 consecutive games and featured two of the greatest college basketball players of all time in Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Bill Walton, both of whom would go on to be named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team.

Wooden was a part of FCA for many years, coaching at camps and speaking on behalf of the organization. He once said, “There is no way I can accurately explain how much FCA has meant to me. My relationship with the organization has had more meaningful influence on my life than anything except my family and church.”

Walt Hazzard joined Wooden on this cover of the February, 1964 issue of The Christian Athlete, a digest-sized magazine distributed by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. At the time of this issue’s publication, the Bruins, featuring Hazzard and Gail Goodrich, were in the midst of an undefeated season that would lead to the first national championship in UCLA’s amazing 12-year run. It turned out to be a great year for Hazzard, who would win a gold medal as part of the United States Olympic Team, and then become the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 11 years in the NBA.

Hazzard returned to Westwood as UCLA’s head coach in 1984, leading the Bruins for four years, leading the Bruins to a National Invitation Tournament championship in his first season on the bench.

– FCA.org –

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