This morning (Friday) UCLA Sports Information Director Marc Dellins emailed us the following:
Coach John Wooden is resting comfortably at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and spent a peaceful night. He was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, May 26 due to dehydration. At the request of the family, no other information regarding Coach Wooden’s condition will be released.
Members of the Wooden Family and UCLA staff are not available for interviews regarding Coach’s condition.
The email stated that there would be an update later this afternoon. We will do our best to update this post as more info comes out. We will post the updates below the fold. Keep praying for Coach.
UPDATE (N): As mentioned earlier this am there is a group already up on Facebook which is organizing a nation wide eight clap for Coach tonight from 8 to 9 pm [HT uclabruin34].The group is at 4,500 and growing. If you don't have a Facebook account here are the details:
Date: Friday, June 4, 2010
Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Location:Ronald Reagan Medical Center
8-clap at 8 for John Wooden. Everyone gather outside the Ronald Reagan Medical Center to support John Wooden and show the true Bruin spirit! John Wooden is an institution at our institution and we should show him how much we care!
Invite your friends, and don’t forget to wear blue and gold tomorrow!
Per BruinDrums the gathering is going to be at Westwood Plaza side, front entrance. This sounds like a pretty amazing gesture. As bruinbabe2000 noted per LA Times hundreds of students have already rallied near the Bear today:
Senior Rhett Jones called Wooden the ultimate Bruin. He said one of his professors brought up Wooden in class – not for his success in sports, but to encourage his students to emulate the coach’s famous Pyramid of Success.
“He wanted us to remember the cornerstones: industriousness and enthusiasm,” Jones said. “He still comes up now. It’s a testament to his character.”
Rebekah Hartie, a freshman, said Wooden has attained a “mythic status” on campus. But she said she hoped the current attention to the coach would encourage students to go back and learn more about his achievements.
“He’s definitely been inspirational to me,” she said. “I mean, all you have to do is walk in the gym and you see his Pyramid of Success.”
Hartie said she was impressed that Wooden opted to have the student gym – open to all on campus – named after him, rather than the more exclusive athletes gym or an athletic facility.
“It shows he cares about all Bruins, not just athletes,” the anthropology major said.
Students are organizing a larger rally outside Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where university officials say Wooden is in grave condition, on Friday at 8 p.m.
Now there will be a bigger gathering at the Medical Plaza at 8 pm PST tonight. Those of us who are thousands of miles away and spread all over this country and the world will be joining them in spirit. If you are in Westwood tonight and attending the rally, please share your pictures, experiences and emotion with all of us. It would mean to all of us - alums spread all over the world - more than any words I can concoct up in this post. GO BRUINS.
UPDATE II (N): The Daily Bruin has the video of students rallying and 8-clapping near the Bear this afternoon. (HT uclaluv). GO BRUINS.
UPDATE III (N): Another HT to uclaluv pointing to a wonderful article by tWWL's Ramona Shellburne who gathered a lot of emotional reactions from the Lakers game last night. It included reactions fromMarques Johnson, JF, Kobe, some Celtics and Coach's long time friend, former Lakers Coach Bill Sherman. Coach Sherman and his wife went to UCLA Medical Center to see Coach as they had been friends for a long time:
"I talked to him before the game tonight. He could talk a little bit, and he could see who you were, but you could see it was going downhill," Sharman said.
"He is a beautiful man. He is one of the greatest men I ever knew. I know with me, he was such a good example. I tried to think a lot of times, when I was going through something, 'What would he do? What would he say? How would he coach?' I admire him so much. He's such a great man."
Said Sharman's wife: "There will never be another. He told Bill he loved him. He asked to see Bill. He told Bill he loved him and thanked him for his friendship.
"This is what he wanted, I think. He wanted to see Nellie [Wooden's wife, who died in 1985]. It was very powerful to see him tonight."
Though Wooden could barely talk, he said what he needed to.
"We said goodbye today," Sharman said.
"I think he realized it."
I watched all of the Laker game but never got into it. Just couldn't muster up the emotion for it. GO BRUINS.
UPDATE IV (N): Evening and last update from UCLA from Dellins via email:
Coach John Wooden continues to rest comfortably at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and is surrounded by his family. At their request, no other information regarding his condition will be released.
Coach Wooden’s family and the UCLA Family want to again tell all of Coach’s fans that their thoughts and prayers are truly appreciated.
There will be no further updates today.
Hang in there Coach. GO BRUINS.