Commentary…Here’s to John Wooden and a life well lived

first_imgby Tim DahlbergAP Sports Columnist LOS ANGELES (AP)—He was a coach when coaching meant something else, long before the job became a pathway to riches and fame. A coach when student-athletes were really students, and the thought of making millions of dollars rolling out basketballs in the gym seemed preposterous. A coach when it meant more to mold the lives of young men than to proclaim his own greatness.“Learn as if you were going to live forever,” he would tell his players. “Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” John Wooden didn’t live forever. His tomorrow finally came June 4, when he quietly passed away just months before his 100th birthday.The end came, fittingly enough, on the same UCLA campus where he tutored a player then known as Lew Alcindor. The same place he seemingly couldn’t lose with Bill Walton.The place where he dispensed wisdom that his players remembered long after they had forgotten the X’s and O’s.“What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player,” he would say.His players listened. How could they not when the man giving advice lived by the same code? He was born on a farm in Indiana without running water or electricity, and his values were as solid as the land his parents worked.The championships seemed to come as an annual rite of spring. There were 10 of them in all, an accomplishment so staggering that no other college coach will ever come close.The other statistics blurred together over time. Still, it wasn’t the 88-game winning streak, four 30-0 seasons or even the 38 straight NCAA tournament wins that defined the humble Midwesterner who ended up at UCLA almost by accident.He had the best players. They came because of him, and they came in spite of him.Playing for Wooden, you see, was never easy. He was the boss, practices were brutal, and things were always done in his meticulous way. The players who bought in would one day become his lifetime friends. Those who didn’t would never understand.The first practice of every season began not with a midnight slam dunk contest, but a demonstration by Wooden on the proper way to put on shoes and socks. Wrinkles in the socks could lead to blisters, he explained, and blisters could lead to losing.The fundamentals never went out of style, and Wooden never changed his approach.His players learned, and they grew. He taught them how to win, but he also taught them bigger things, like his belief that a life not lived for others is a life not lived well. He wouldn’t accept less than their best effort both on and off the court.“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but what you should have accomplished with your ability,” Wooden would warn them.It’s been 35 years since Wooden watched his Bruins cut down the nets down one last time, then walked away while still at his peak. Yes, he was the “Wizard of Westwood”—a nickname he didn’t like—but he never made more than $32,500 and for years he mopped the floor himself before practice.He never begrudged the coaches of today the millions they make, but making money wasn’t why he got into coaching in the first place. He became a legend because of what his players did on the court, but to Wooden the victories were merely a byproduct of the life lessons that always came first.Indeed, Wooden did what he preached, living his life for others. His style was authoritarian, but his players graduated and the messages sank in a lot more than they missed the mark.He encouraged them to take chances, urged them to be all they could be.“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything,” he would tell them. “I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”Wooden didn’t make many. He lived an impeccable life, devoid of scandal, still so in love with his wife, Nell, in the years after she died that he would write her a letter each month just as he had done while she was alive.As word got out about his final hospitalization, students who hadn’t even been born the last time he worked a game rallied on the UCLA campus in tribute. Words of tribute, meanwhile, began flowing the moment his death was announced.But the words that matter most are the ones his players still remember. The same words they’ve passed on to their children and their children’s children.“Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you,” he told them.As hard as it is to imagine, John Wooden is gone. His dreams, however, live on. WIZARD OF WESTWOOD—In this March 24, 1969 photo, legendary UCLA coach John Wooden is flanked by Sidney Wicks, right, and Lew Alcindor, draped with basket ropes, after UCLA beat Purdue 92-72 to win the NCAA basketball title for the third consecutive year, in Louisville, Ky. Wooden, who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA and became one of the most revered coaches ever, died June 4. He was 99. last_img read more

Forrestdale School Transformed into Entrepreneur’s Marketplace

first_imgBy Emma Wulfhorst |RUMSON – It’s not every day a school becomes a bustling hub of entrepreneurship.But sellers recently packed the Forrestdale School’s cafeteria where over 60 student vendors set up shop, displaying everything from shark’s-tooth necklaces to ornaments to original artwork for the school’s first ever TREP$ Marketplace.The market was the final step of the TREP$ program, a curriculum developed for schools in which fourth- through eighth-graders learn everything they need to know to start their own businesses. Maureen Gordon, a Forrestdale enrichment program teacher, brought the program – short for “entrepreneurs” – to the school after learning about it through an email. “I knew it would be something students would just love to do,” Gordon said. “I know how much they love to create and build.”Gordon approached the Forrestdale administration and asked for permission to make TREP$ a part of the school’s enrichment program for gifted and talented students for the 2017-18 school year. “They said yes right away,” said Gordon and she began the class in September. The TREP$ curriculum was developed in 2006 by two New Jersey mothers after their sons attempted to create their own small business.Forrestdale’s program was open to all fourth- and fifth-grade enrichment students, as well as any sixth-grade students who were interested. The class met one hour a week for the fourth- and fifth-grade students during a regularly scheduled enrichment class. But the sixth graders had to sacrifice a lunch and recess period two times a week in order to participate.“They learned concepts and skills in school through workshops,” said Gordon. During the classes, the students were taught key business skills and terms, including profit, expenses, marketing, brainstorming and creating a plan, all part of the TREP$ curriculum.“A lot of work was also done at home,” said Gordon. Students physically created their products entirely on their own time using their own money or borrowed from their parents to produce the items. However, if students borrowed money, they were required to write up a contract with terms for repaying the loans. Any profits students made could be used to satisfy the loans. If students did not turn a profit, they had to present written explanations of the different lessons they learned during the program.“Most of them really worked on it themselves,” said Gordon about the students’ creation of their products, “but there was a lot of parental support.” Gordon said some of the students even paid their siblings or friends to help them produce, market or sell their goods.According to Gordon, about 95 percent of students made a profit. While most kept the money as a reward for themselves, some chose to donate it to various organizations.Amanda Harmon, a fifth-grader at Forrestdale, made a profit of $150 by selling her beach-themed ornaments, chalkboards and picture frames. “I loved it when people walked by my stand and saw my product and they loved them,” she said. “It really made me feel good to have people enjoy what I made.”“She was focused on doing something beach-themed and using sand,” said Amanda’s mother, Tara Harmon, also the publicity coordinator for Forrestdale’s TREP$ program.Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from Forrestdale School in Rumson participated in the TREP$ Marketplace, the culmination of a program which taught them about all aspects of starting and running a business. Photo courtesy Tara HarmonIn total, 16 sixth-graders, 28 fifth-graders, and 21 fourth-graders participated in the program, but Gordon expects a bigger enrollment when she runs the program again. “I already ordered more workbooks for next year,” she said. “I’ve had seventh- and eighth-graders beg me to do it again.”Gordon is overjoyed by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the entire Forrestdale community. “I received numerous emails form parents thanking us, telling us what an amazing learning experience it was for their child,” she said.As a parent, Harmon relished TREP$. “I thought it was pretty awesome,” she said. “It was a great opportunity for the kids to use their creativity and see how a business works.” Harmon is also excited for her daughter to participate again. “She and her friends are already planning what they want to sell next year.”This article was first published in the Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Photo Gallery: Memorial Day, 2018

first_imgPhotos by Jay Cook and Patrick Olivero |On Memorial Day, May 28, patriotism was on display in the towns of Rumson, Fair Haven and Middletown. Americans paid their respects to those who died in service to their country and held festive  parades.Some of these photos were published in the May 31-June 7, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img

Wildcats show signs of improvement, move into top 10 of Single-A provincial poll

first_imgThe Mount Sentinel Wildcats moved up the confidence ladder to place in the gold tier at the 48-team Best of the West High School Girl’s Volleyball Tournament Saturday in Kelowna.”It was a good weekend overall for us,” said Mount Sentinel head coach Joe Moreira. “(We) took some baby steps forward.”The Wildcats lost all three games in the round of 16 gold tier, but Moreira was more than pleased with the improvement of his young team.”We competed against teams that are better than us,” Moreira explained. “We lost to McMath (of Richmond #3 – AAAA), Trinity from Edmonton, and St. Thomas Moore (of Vancouver #8-AA). We had only one (poor game) . . . the first set versus STM. The rest we played with only a minimum of fear.”The Wildcats opened the tournament Friday reeling off three impressive wins, including an upset of sixth-ranked White Rock Christian. The Warriors are ranked four spots ahead of Mount Sentinel in the more recent High School Single-A Girl’s poll.”We played well and with confidence,” said Moreira of his team of Grade 9s and 11s.After three weeks of tournaments the Cats get a breather before heading to the South Okanagan to play in the Pen Hi Lakers tournament Oct. 28-29.The Kootenay High School Single-A volleyball playoffs is set for mid-November. The B.C. High School Single-A Volleyball Championships are December 1-4 in Abbotsford.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more