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.

October 07 Thumbnails

by Tony Medley

The Kingdom (10/10): It doesn’t matter who the stars are (Jamie Fox, Chris Cooper, and Jennifer Garner, as admirable FBI agents), because this is the director’s movie. Peter Berg captures the non stop action, tension, and unabashed violence of the Islamic Jihad as it fictionally erupts in Saudi Arabia, greatly enhanced by Danny Elfman’s music and Mauro Fiore’s cinéma vérité-like cinematography. This old-fashioned patriotic movie, without a breath of cynical Hollywood criticism of American involvement in the war on terror, shows what it must feel like to be standing next to a suicide bomber and how brutal the conflict is. At the end, it realistically implies that it won’t be over soon, regardless of American politics.

Eastern Promises (9/10): A brilliantly acted and directed film that is marred by graphic violence and a Hollywood Twist that strained my credulity. The way Naomi Watt’s face expresses her thoughts with just the most miniscule of twitches is captivating to watch. It’s to director David Cronenberg’s discredit that he chose to emphasize the visual mayhem while sublimating the psychological terror of the enslaved young girls which form the basis of the film. Still, it’s highly entertaining so long as you can close your eyes to the mayhem.

The Brave One (9/10): This is a rare film these days, one made by professionals who know what they are doing. It is expertly directed by Neil Jordan, with a scintillating performance by Jodie Foster, ably backed up by Terrence Howard. From start to finish this is a film that compels your attention.

3:10 to Yuma (7/10): While it’s enjoyable to see Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, two of the best actors extant, emote together, Gretchen Mol is so perfectly coifed, she doesn’t look like any farmer’s wife ever seen in the southwest in the late 19th Century. Every scene emphasizes that the actors came straight from several hours in Makeup to shoot their scenes. So much for recreating the Old West. It’s too bad the film has a Hollywood Ending that destroys any verisimilitude the interesting script had created.

My Kid Could Paint That (7/10): This fascinating documentary of the painting career of 4-year-old Maria Olmstead shows what can happen when two naïve parents trust people like Charlie Rose and institutions like 60 Minutes. On the one hand an indictment of modern art; on the other it shows the danger of trusting the media. The Olmsteads seem like nice, gentle people who got in over their heads and didn’t realize what inviting the media into their lives could do to their daughter and their family. (Opens October 5).

The Game Plan (7/10): Finally a Hollywood film that recognizes the importance of a father in a child’s life. Star turns by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and cute 7-year-old Madison Pettis make the most of an occasionally clever, occasionally saccharine script that unfortunately relies on some unrealistic situations, and a 110-minute running time that is at least 30 minutes too long.

Sleuth (6/10): Despite innovative camera angles by director Kenneth Brannagh, a script by Harold Pinter, and cutting the running time from 139 to 86 minutes, this is but a shadow of the original, mainly because Michael Caine is no Laurence Olivier and Jude Law is no Michael Caine. (Opens October 12).

Great World of Sound (3/10): Even though this too-long film about song sharking is interesting, as with many Hollywood films about business people it has the weight of a helium balloon, too cartoonish to establish credibility. The one bright spot is Kene Holliday, who is convincing as a scam artist up from the street.