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.

Thumbnails August 08

by Tony Medley

The Dark Knight (10/10): The late Heath Ledger gives a performance for the ages as The Joker, and Christopher Nolan directs Christian Bale as a troubled, brooding Batman in this dark, fast-paced, tension-packed culmination of Nolan’s rejuvenation of the Batman series he saved from oblivion in 2005 with “Batman Begins.” Ledger is so outstanding that Nolan’s creation of a very good film has gotten short shrift.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (8/10): This is not your grandfather’s 3-D (or last year’s animated “Beowulf’s” 3-D bomb, either). With comfortable glasses, the 3-D greatly enhances an entertaining, uplifting film. This is an old-fashioned movie so full of fun that I came out with a broad smile on my face. And that’s the ultimate test of a winner. If you have to drive a few more miles to see it in 3-D, it’s well worth the trip.

Meet Dave (8/10): After a myriad of unentertaining films, Eddie Murphy finally finds himself in a funny, inventive movie. Life-sized Dave is a robot who looks like a normal-sized Murphy, actually a spaceship controlled by Murphy and his crew, all one-inch tall. This innovative script and story (Rob Greenberg & Bill Corbett) is ably directed by Brian Robbins, who has created a light-hearted, unique, funny film out of a premise that could have been ludicrous in less talented hands. Even though Dave’s mission will doom Earth, Robbins has us rooting for Dave and his protectors, gorgeous Elizabeth Banks and her son, Austyn Lind Myers. If you like to smile and laugh, this does the trick.

Man on Wire (7/10): On August 7, 1974, the day before Richard Nixon resigned, Frenchman Philippe Petit high-wire walked between the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. This James Marsh documentary comes across like a good caper flick, as Petit’s team planned its clandestine assault for eight months, finally smuggling all the gear into the towers and onto the roofs. Despite a ragtag team of compatriots who sometimes resemble the keystone cops, this is a compelling story of what has been called “the artistic coup of the century,” using archival films and interviews with Petit and all the members of his team. It would take a cool customer, indeed, not to feel the tension when Petit ventures out onto the wire for his 45-minute journey 1,350 feet above New York’s streets.

Mamma Mia (6/10): Hollywood constantly casts dramatic actors instead of people with musical talent as leads in musicals and this is no exception. Nobody in the cast, least of all star Meryl Streep and lead singer Amanda Seyfried, has any musical credentials. Picture Tiny Tim playing the lead in “South Pacific”, a role created for operatic star Ezio Pinza, and you will get an idea akin to what they’ve done with Mamma Mia. The raw brilliance of the music and the beautiful cinematography of the Greek island location might be enough for some to overcome Streep’s barely adequate voice singing the great music of ABBA, the inept direction of first-timer Plyllida Lloyd, who directed the play and whose experience is exclusively from the theater, and the slack script. Lloyd fills the first half of the film with such contrived conviviality it destroys the verisimilitude of the characters. This needed professional singers, not people merely capable of hitting the right notes. I can play the piano but the Hollywood Bowl isn’t about to hire me to play Rhapsody in Blue. With pros in the lead, like, for instance, Reba McEntire instead of Streep, Mandy Moore or Natasha Bedingfield instead of Seyfried, and an experienced film director of musicals like Rob Marshall, this could have been wonderful.

Step Brothers (0/10): An insult to the intelligence of anyone over the age of reason, reprehensibly crude, this is worse than stupid. It rolls around in the gutter using vulgar language to try to make infantile jokes based on excrement and genitalia. If not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, it’s the dumbest