Saturday, December 14

Women’s basketball season will honor John Wooden

The expansion of the Pac-10 conference brought talks of “increased value” and “equal revenue sharing,” as Commissioner Larry Scott explained at media day Thursday.

Scott envisioned a Pac-10 enterprise: not just a national brand, but a “global brand.”

Monetary concerns aside, the 2010-2011 women’s basketball season will be dedicated to John Wooden and his legacy.

Coaches such as Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and UCLA’s Nikki Caldwell, whose teams finished first and second respectively last season, were present and also attested to Wooden’s influence.
VanDerveer had the opportunity to meet Wooden after guiding the gold medal-winning squad in the 1996 Olympics.

“It was so special, and this season will be special in his honor, and how he represents all the good things in basketball,” VanDerveer said. “We’ll keep him in our hearts, and hopefully, the coaches and players will display the great qualities he represented.”

Throughout the season, these qualities will be aired on video boards while broadcasts will feature teachings from the Pyramid of Success.

The Pac-10 Coach of the Year award has been renamed in both men’s and women’s basketball to the John Wooden Coach of the Year Award.
Last season’s Pac-10 Women’s Coach of the Year, Nikki Caldwell, also paid reverence.

“The thing that we instill upon our student athletes in honoring coach Wooden, especially this year, is it’s not about what you can get out of life, it’s about what we can give to each other,” Caldwell said.

The 2010-2011 UCLA squad, picked to finish second behind Stanford in the preseason poll, will compete to advance to the last two rounds of the Pac-10 women’s tournament, which will be hosted at the Staples Center for the first time.

There, a special presentation for the Wooden family will be held, and it’s safe to say that if granted the opportunity, Caldwell will dedicate the Pac-10 championship trophy to him.

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