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 stories in their own words.

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

Sports Medley: Another Bonehead Dodgers Move 12 Jun 17

by Tony Medley

Lucky Roberts: It was just more of the same in Saturday’s Dodgers-Reds baseball game. Dodgers’ starter Alex Wood had been dominant entering the top of the sixth inning, having allowed only 4 hits, zero walks and striking out 7. Leading by three runs, 4-1, after retiring the first batter, he hit the second batter with a high tight fastball; the next batter followed with a “ground ball with eyes” single between third and short. Two feet either way and it would’ve been an ending inning double play. Roberts went to the mound to talk to Wood, who proceeded to strike out the next batter. Out pops Roberts again to pull Wood for no discernible reason except that Wood is a left-handed pitcher and the next batter, 225 batting Devin Mesoraco was a right-handed batter. This is what infuriates me about today’s baseball and I said to myself I hope this guy hits a three run home run. From my lips to God’s ears Mesoraco hit relief pitcher Josh Fields’ second pitch into the left-field pavilion for a game-tying three run home run. The next batter, Scooter Gennett hit a fly ball to left center that was 1 foot short of another home run. While no sportswriter deigns to criticize today’s handling of pitchers, Roberts was saved from any criticism whatsoever by Corey Seager’s walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Dodgers eeked out a 5-4 victory.

What is nonsensical about all this is that if the ground ball single had been hit at the shortstop or third baseman and resulted in a double play nobody would have thought about pulling Wood from the game.  The direction of a ground ball is solely law of averages, or luck, and totally beyond the control of the pitcher. In fact, Wood had done his job: he had gotten the batter to hit a ground ball. Anybody who pulls a pitcher because a batter hits a ground ball should not be making decisions about pitchers because he simply does not understand.

Home run or no count Cody: On Sunday, rookie Cody Bellinger was 2 for 4, with two home runs. But his batting average has plummeted from the .350 range to .248. As mentioned here last week, Cody has a big problem hitting the ball. Not only does he strike out a third of the time, he actually leads all of major league baseball in numbers of swings and misses. That’s nothing new for him. In 2015 playing for Class A+ Rancho Cucamonga, he struck out 150 times in 478 at bats (31.3%). That’s in the low minors! Joc Pederson has the same strikeout disease. Why don’t the Dodgers get a hitting coach to teach their players how to hit? There’s a lot more to it than just getting up there and swinging from the heels on every pitch.

For the want of a nail…a kingdom was lost:omeHoHHHh Luke Heimlich is the star pitcher for Oregon State’s number one ranked baseball team. However, a few days before the regional final against Vanderbilt “the Oregonian/Oregonlive” reported that he had pled guilty to a single count of molesting a six-year-old girl when he was 15 years old. Nobody would have known about this had he not failed to report to renew his registration as a sex offender within 10 days of his birthday, which resulted in him being cited on a misdemeanor charge that was later dismissed. The citation showed up on a routine background check. As a result, almost all major league teams have taken him off their draft lists. It appears that his career is over before it started because nobody wants to touch somebody with this kind of a record in his background.

Dodgers continue to misrepresent crowd size: Dodgers play-by-play announcer Joe Davis said on Saturday night, “43,439 enjoying this one…” Not true! As reported here the official announced figures are “tickets sold” and is not the number of people in attendance.

TV Tennis: Is there anything more boring than watching the French Open from the high camera as The Tennis Channel and NBC continue to do? The low camera shows the speed of the ball. It’s the best angle, akin to baseball’s center field camera. Watching the French Open from the high camera is as stimulating as watching cream rise to the top of a milk bottle. For the first time in decades I only watched one French Open match. That was the Final and I spent much of the time reading a book.