Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.

The Game Plan (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Fathers are a forgotten species in Hollywood these days. In some movies, like Under The Tuscan Sun (2003), men aren’t even required in order to make a baby. So that’s why this film, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and 7-year-old Madison Pettis, is such a breath of fresh air.

Joe Kingman (The Rock) is a Joe Namath-type NFL quarterback who lives a high life, driving a gull-winged Mercedes, dating supermodels, and occupying a lavishly furnished bachelor pad of just about every man’s fantasy. This is all thrown into jeopardy by a knock on his door by Peyton Kelly (Pettis), who announces that she is his daughter from a long-dissolved marriage, of whom he had been unaware.

While The Rock might not be Cary Grant or Hugh Grant when it comes to light comedy, he does a pretty good job of carrying it off here, even without raising his one eyebrow inquiringly, at which he is so good. He is helped immeasurably by Pettis, who is a cute, charming star in the making.

Adding immeasurably to the fun is Kyra Sedgwick, who plays Joe’s avaricious agent, Stella. One of my main criticisms of the film is that Stella doesn’t get enough screen time. She adds a bite to the humor, and the film could have used a lot more of her.

Sports movies have improved so much because of sports coordinator Mark Ellis, who has been responsible for some of the best athletic scenes ever filmed recently, including Miracle and Invincible. So, too, here he recruited real athletes to play football, including Jamal Duff, a former NFL lineman for the New York Giants, who plays Monroe, Morris Chestnut, who played high school football, who plays Joe’s best friend, wide receiver Sanders, and Brian White, son of Boston Celtics’ JoJo, who played for the NFL New England Patriots and who plays Joe’s running back, Webber.

Ellis put them all through a boot camp and trained them as a team, so that the football scenes would be realistic, and they are. I’m the first one to point out when athletic scenes portrayed on the screen are idiotic, which they generally are. Not when Ellis is involved. What is even better is that these people aren’t just chosen for their athletic abilities. They can act, too.

Pettis is a budding ballerina, and her teacher is Monique, played by Roselyn Sanchez, who is a real dancer, so doesn’t use a dance double.

Also in the film are people sports fans might recognize, broadcasters Boomer Esiason, Marv Albert, Jim Gray, Steve Levy and Stuart Scott, among others. Los Angeles viewers even get to see what acerbic Los Angeles Times sportswriter T. J. Simers looks like.

Even though this film is too long and strains credulity to the breaking point sometimes, it is a very good light entertainment without the low values seen in many Hollywood films.

September 27, 2007