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. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

The Place Beyond the Pines (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime140 minutes

OK for children.

According to writer-director Derek Cianfrance this film is about fathersí and sonsí, ďlegacy, what weíre born with and what we pass on, and the choices we make and how those choices echo throughout the generations. Itís a classic tale of the sins of the father being visited upon the son.Ē

The first hour is about Ryan Gosling (united with his real life girl friend, Eva Mendes, who gives a terrific performance) and crimes he commits for his family. Then he gets involved with policeman Bradley Cooper and the rest of the film is about how their confrontation affects their lives and their familiesí lives during the next 16 years.

Cooper and his wife, played by Rose Byrne, both of Irish descent, are tall, slender, attractive, and genteel. When their son, AJ, played by Emory Cohen, appears in the second half of the film, however he is a short, ugly teenager who looks like he is a refugee from Mickey Cohenís Jewish mafia. Worse, he talks like a dees, dem, and dose thug. AJ, as played by Cohen, could no more have come from the loins of Cooper and Byrne than a hippo could be the offspring of Secretariat. Itís physically impossible for two gentiles to give birth to a Jewish baby. Would anyone cast Bing Crosby in the role of Al Jolson? This horrible miscasting comes close to destroying what is an extremely well done movie because every time AJ opens his mouth he reminds you that he could not possibly be their son.

Despite the terrible casting (and itís certainly not the fault of Cohen who actually gives a very good performance), this is an engrossing film. The acting of the entire cast is superb and Cianfrance directs with a deft touch, keeping the pace and tension alive for the entire film. At the beginning I was turned off by the Gregorian chant-style score by Mike Patton. But as the film progressed the music became much better and enhanced the story.

February 28, 2013