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Happy Father's Day to Bruins Nation

I'm a proud Bruin.  But I'm also a proud husband.  And this last year, I was blessed to become a very proud father.

Me and Lit'l M chilling at the CWS Regional in Malibu

As we all know, Father's Day is a holiday to honor and commemorate fathers or forefathers. So, to all the dads out there in Bruins Nation, a hearty Happy Father's Day!

On this, my first Father's Day, I'd like to reflect a bit on a holiday I don't think I properly appreciated until this year.  

Hours later, Lit'l M would will UCLA to victory over Gonzaga

As I'm sure is the case with many of you, I was introduced to the world of sports, as well as so many other things, by my father.  My dad wasn't the sports nut his boy would become, but he was there to coach my little league teams, take me to the Big A and, years later, join me as I toured UCLA and did my first eight clap.

I feel that I was, and am, a lucky fellow in that department. I hope to be a good father and role model as well. Of course, I want to do everything I can to encourage my child to pursue whatever endeavors he chooses.  So long as he goes to college.  And that college is UCLA.

But, more seriously, it's not bad to take a moment to celebrate those fathers and role models that have made an impact on our lives.

As Bruins, of course, we are lucky to be associated with one of the best fathers out there.

The Legendary John Wooden

Of course, we all know John Wooden as perhaps the greatest basketball coach of all time.  But the man is also a great teacher, mentor and father.

Besides bring home 10 banners to Westwood, Wooden's managed some other pretty impressive accomplishments. He married Nellie Riley, his high school sweetheart, and enjoyed 53 years of marriage until Nell passed away in 1985.  John and Nellie had two children, one having three daughters, the other having three sons and one daughter. In all, Wooden has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren who know him not as "Coach," but as "Papa."

And, not to be lost in his long list of accolades, Wooden was honored three times, and not for coaching.

1964 : California "Father of the Year"
1974 : California "Grandfather of the Year" Award by National Father's Day Committee

1975 : California "Sports Father of the Year" Award

How did John Wooden become such an amazing coach and father?  We probably all know about John Wooden's Seven Point Creed, given to him by his father Joshua upon his graduation from grammar school, which he'd later build upon to give us his Pyramid of success.

 In this interview, Wooden himself credits his father.

[Wooden's] bowed, arthritic fingers shake a little as he shows it to you, but he remembers the words by heart and says them aloud. "I was built up from my dad more than anyone else," he says. "I tried to live by this and I tried to teach by it. I haven't always been perfect, but I've tried."

So, here's to all the fathers out there. Happy Father's Day!