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.

Made of Honor (3/10)

by Tony Medley

How could a movie with such a ridiculous title be anything but a silly chick flick? Actually it’s an obvious play on words but without a foundation in the film because one thing that the protagonist, Tom (Patrick Dempsey), is not made of is honor. He prides himself on being honest with the women he beds and leaves, but he’s not honorable or honest with either himself or the woman he loves, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan). But if he were to be, there wouldn’t be a movie and we’d all be better off.

One of the biggest problems with this tedious effort is that whoever directed and wrote it (Paul Weiland and Adam Sztykiel and Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont, respectively, with the story by Adam Sztykiel) don’t have a clue about how men interact as friends. Exacerbating the lack of credibility of the way they bond is the ludicrous way they play basketball.

Basketball is a big part of this movie because Weiland has chosen that as the recreation of choice for Tom and his sexually ambiguous buddies (we never see any of them with a woman, and there’s probably a good reason for that). Since it is such a big part of the film, Weiland should have cast the parts for people who could realistically appear on the court as real basketball players. Not Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but guys who play pickup basketball. There is a casting genius around town, Sports Coordinator Mark Ellis, who can cast people based on their athletic ability (“Miracle” 2004, among many others). When he’s in charge, the characters don’t disgrace themselves when they have to be filmed actually playing the sport. Ellis was sorely needed on this film. Instead, Weiland has cast a bunch of guys who look as if they never had a basketball in their hands. The result is that the basketball scenes make them look like the effeminate Jets in “West Side Story" (1961), who were supposed to be tough guys, but were, instead, dancers, and looked like it.

But that’s not the worst part of the movie. The basic concept is ludicrous. The setup is pretty good. Tom hops into bed with a woman he thinks is “Monica,” but is, in reality, her roommate, Hannah, who kicks him out and berates him. Thus begins a friendship as buddies. The film picks up ten years later with Hannah announcing that she’s going to marry a Scotsman, Colin (Kevin McKidd), and asks Tom to be her Maid of Honor, a ridiculous proposition that has no relationship with anything that would happen in real life. Naturally, Tom is madly in love with her and goes along, encouraged by his buddies (what would they know about women?) to try and win her back.

This makes for 101 enormously irritating minutes, at least if you’re a man. There is very little funny in the film and very little that is not predictable. The only thing it has going for itself is that Monaghan is gorgeous and a very good actress. For women, I’m reliably informed (by a woman) that Dempsey is a Hunk. If so, the definition of Hunk has changed over the years, and not for the better. Apparently being a “Hunk” has nothing to do with being masculine any more.

This is nothing more than derivative drivel.

May 2, 2008