My Personal Best by John Wooden Steve Jamison This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 11, 2014
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“There is a choice you have to make, in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choices you make, makes you.’’ –Anonymous. Let me start out by saying I’m not a fan of basketball. But people might ask why I read a book about basketball? And at first I asked myself the same question. And to be honest I never would have picked up the book if it wasn’t for a little help from my principal and at the end of the day a new founded mentor of my own. I was sitting in the office after I got into a little trouble; I picked up a random book from the shelf and asked my principal id I can pass some time by reading a book. He replied “sure.” I sat and read and I really couldn’t get in to that book that much. After about five minutes I was asked to go into the other room so they could bring another kid in for questioning for my childish actions. I picked up my belongings including the book and ask my principal if I could take the book with me. He replied, “Can I offer a book to you.” I said “sure” in my sarcastic tone. “Bottom shelf, second from the left.” I said “thanks” and proceeded for the door. I was put in the office between the Assistant Principal and Principal offices. I began to read.
“My Personal Best.” It’s much more than just a book. It’s more like a counselor. John Wooden didn’t want to write this book for fame or fortune. He wrote this book to share his wisdom. And as you go through this this book you learn about Wooden’s life, his triumphs his bad times, and his wins and losses. And he puts all of his good and bad times as good lessons.
Wooden was born on October 14, 1910. His father, Robert Wooden a farmer, and his mother Roxie Wooden who was a stay at home mom. Both were very proud parents. Wooden was raised on a farm till he was about 12, and he loved every moment of it. What he even loved more was basketball. There was a dirt court, where his coach, coach Warriner raised sharp players and students, he only allowed students with good grades and a good character to even step foot on his court. He was also a principal who allowed no shenanigans; he became Wooden’s first mentor.
In high school Wooden was coached by Glen Curtis, who coached the Artisans, at Martinsville. In 1926 the Artisans reached the finals in the Indian State Basketball tournament at Indianapolis when they lost in the finals too Marion Giants by seven points. But one good thing happened; he met the love of his life Nellie Riley.
Nellie and John were miles apart during Wooden’s college career. John went to Purdue University which were known as the Boilmakers. The coach at Purdue University was Ward “Piggy” Lambert. Piggy believed in not getting the team to commercialize by not attending big games or tournaments. He believed if he took his players there they would become too full of themselves and not work as good as a team. Besides basketball Wooden’s major at college was English and was voted 19th in his class, and he was voted all American three years in a row.

After college john and Nellie moved to Kentucky for his new teaching job, at Daytona High school, and after that they moved to South Bend Central where he coached for a few years. But in 1943 John enlisted into the Navy from 1943-46. Nellie was furious, but she soon got over it with the help of their two young children Nancy and James.

After John was out of the navy the family packed up and moved to Indiana State Teachers college where he teaches English and coached basketball. The Sacamores was the name of the team. Wooden lead his team to an 18-8 record that year and won the conference title, but when they got an invitation to the NAIA Wooden refused because they wouldn’t except black players.
The last and final school Wooden would ever coach at has finally arrived, UCLA. UCLA was not very known for basketball till Wooden. The Bruins in Wooden’s reign would go and win 10 NCAA championships. And have a winning streak of 88 games. John Wooden was a great coach. He taught me a lot just through these pages. He gave me a new view on my life and the things I do in it. And even though I made a mistake people are willing to forgive. I am not going to promise I am not going to get into trouble, but I will promise I will think about my actions a little more.

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