Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court

Coach Wooden and Me Our Year Friendship On and Off the Court Instant New York Times and USA Today BestsellerPresident Barack Obama s Favorite Book of A Boston Globe and Huffington Post Best Book of Pick Kareem Abdul Jabbar explores his year friendsh

  • Title: Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
  • Author: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • ISBN: 9781478914761
  • Page: 463
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Instant New York Times and USA Today BestsellerPresident Barack Obama s Favorite Book of 2017A Boston Globe and Huffington Post Best Book of 2017 Pick Kareem Abdul Jabbar explores his 50 year friendship with Coach John Wooden, one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history.When future NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar was still an 18 year old high schInstant New York Times and USA Today BestsellerPresident Barack Obama s Favorite Book of 2017A Boston Globe and Huffington Post Best Book of 2017 PickKareem Abdul Jabbar explores his 50 year friendship with Coach John Wooden, one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history.When future NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar was still an 18 year old high school basketball prospect from New York City named Lew Alcindor, he accepted a scholarship from UCLA largely on the strength of Coach John Wooden s reputation as a winner It turned out to be the right choice, as Alcindor and his teammates won an unprecedented three NCAA championship titles But it also marked the beginning of one of the most extraordinary and enduring friendships in the history of sports In COACH WOODEN AND ME, Abdul Jabbar reveals the inspirational story of how his bond with John Wooden evolved from a history making coach player mentorship into a deep and genuine friendship that transcended sports, shaped the course of both men s lives, and lasted for half a centuryACH WOODEN AND ME is a stirring tribute to the subtle but profound influence that Wooden had on Kareem as a player, and then as a person, as they began to share their cultural, religious, and family values while facing some of life s biggest obstacles From his first day of practice, when the players were taught the importance of putting on their athletic socks properly, to gradually absorbing the sublime wisdom of Coach Wooden s now famous Pyramid of Success to learning to cope with the ugly racism that confronted black athletes during the turbulent Civil Rights era as well as losing loved ones, Abdul Jabbar fondly recalls how Coach Wooden s fatherly guidance not only paved the way for his unmatched professional success but also made possible a lifetime of personal fulfillment.Full of intimate, never before published details and delivered with the warmth and erudition of a grateful student who has learned his lessons well, COACH WOODEN AND ME is at once a celebration of the unique philosophical outlook of college basketball s most storied coach and a moving testament to the all conquering power of friendship.

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    About " Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr on April 16, 1947 in New York City, New York, United States is an American former professional basketball player and current assistant coach Typically referred to as Lew Alcindor in his younger days, he changed his name when he converted to Islam.


  • Very readable. Not particularly well-written. Abdul-Jabbar is very articulate and intelligent so the writing is something of a letdown. It may be that this book is geared more toward young readers or at least written to be accessible to them. Lots of interesting anecdotes and life lessons, but it can seem repetitious. Enjoyable for what it is - a heart-warming story of two giants from very different backgrounds who find common ground in basketball and build a meaningful friendship on that founda [...]

  • This book told the story of one of the greatest sports friendships ever was amazing. It described their friendship from beginning to end and how it started as player and coach and ended as best friends. Each person was extremely successful on their own but when they were together it was a duo that could never be broken up. Kareem wouldn't have been the great center he was without John Wooden's intelligence and John Wooden wouldn't have been as successful as a coach without the 3 championships Ka [...]

  • I’ve just finished reading of a love between two men that has deeply touched me. There is no embarrassment in it, no hesitation in recounting their closeness, no apologies for its tenderness. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written of his coach and friend of 50 years, John Wooden, sharing their relationship, and paying credit to the influence that his old coach has made on his life. “Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court” is a story for all time written by a 7 foot 2-inc [...]

  • The greatest coach in American history was a simple man from Indiana who ended up at UCLA and created a legendary programme and 10 NCAA Championships. This one school was changed by a man who revolutionised how to think and play basketball as a lesson for life. Wooden was a modest man and a genius. Who better to tell his story through a most remarkable relationship and friendship than Kareem Abdul Jabbar. This book has tender moments interrupted by stark reality of the times and events they live [...]

  • This is a fantastic book about a 50 year friendship between Kareem Abdul Jabbar and his UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. Kareem describes how their relationship evolved from coach/player to true friendship. The book is filled with Woodenisms- his poems, sayings and admonitions to his players- his pyramid of success and more. What comes through clearly is that Wooden focused on building young men of good character, with winning basketball games as a secondary concern. Kareem describes how this [...]

  • Coach Wooden and me is a book about two of the biggest basketball faces ever and about how their friendship started and evolved. Kareem is the all time leader in career points and John Wooden is one of the greatest basketball coaches ever. Kareem and John first meet when Kareem is applying for college. At first Kareem does not trust Coach Wooden because of a relationship with a former coach. This is a story of how two very different people with different backgrounds became friends over the sport [...]

  • Okay, my bias may be showing because I am a UCLA alumna, but this truly is a wonderful book. The relationship between Lewis/Kareem and Coach Wooden is so special and I have been waiting for years for it to be shared. Kareem does a great job of describing all aspects of their relationship: the good times and bad, victories and losses, happy memories and tragic losses. Wooden's words of wisdom are sprinkled throughout the book and I found myself wanting to share many passages with my friends. We a [...]

  • In its genre, Abdul-Jabbar does a wonderful job explain Coach Wooden's influence on him as a kid who thought highly of himself coming out of Harlem in the '60's and how he turned his basketball life and his outlook on life around. It is for someone who either saw him play, wonders about his incredible career on and off the court, or merely is interested in how this man embraced his idol--John Wooden.

  • Saw the title and wanted to read it. It did not disappoint. Less basketball in it than you might think, and more about the relationship between the two men.

  • I really like Coach Wooden. I'd never heard of him before (not a sports person), but his approach toward life and people spoke to my heart. Endeavoring to be like him would be a worthy goal, and I hope it isn't too late in my life to start trying! Some of the racist encounters related by the author were both painful and eye-opening. I've always known that, as a white person, I just can't "get it," but this emphasized that fact. However, I did find this book to be a little too political for my pe [...]

  • Abdul-Jabbar explains the story of his friendship with John Wooden in a way that pays tribute to his coach and mentor, in life as well as on the basketball court. A bit of a nostalgic run for me, as both were childhood heroes of mine.The author repeatedly describes his own surprise at the way that a 7'2" kid from Brooklyn, turned Muslim, could appreciate the association with the much shorter and older Midwesterner white Christian Wooden for over 50 years of their lives. The story of the coach's [...]

  • A book of dedication to friendship and loyalty, I also learned about one hundred facts surrounding basketball, life, details of the game in general -- I really enjoyed the book. Coach Wooden got closer to my heart than he already was, and he is near the top for me. After dating a former NBA player for a year, and he'd recommended the book, the obvious points stood out . . . how Wooden coached, what his faith and family meant to him and in what order. Yet, there are several contradictions in the [...]

  • An inspiring book, the kind that brings on the tears and leads you to want changes in your life - cherish your family better, love your friends more deeply, be truer to your principles and strive to be your best self. Kareem Abdul-Jabar movingly tells of the impact his coach at UCLA had on his life and the lives of many basketball players over the years and on the great many people who met Coach over his 99 year span. Coach Wooden was a deeply Christian man and, in some ways, a very conservative [...]

  • I have never played the game of basketball before, but many of the lessons that John Wooden taught Kareem resonate with me. I absolutely believe that preparation is the key to success in any endeavor. I believe in putting on my socks snug so I can walk better and not get blisters. I learned that most important thing about playing basketball or doing anything is to give my maximum effort all the time. Kareem and Coach Wooden's relationship started out as a player and a coach, but it developed int [...]

  • Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a moving memoir of the meaning of sports and life, and how life takes precedence over athletics. Athletics being the gateway to a fulfilling life. Abdul-Jabbar, the gifted basketball player, and Coach Wooden learn from each other while sharing their faith (though the theology practiced somewhat differently between Christian and Muslim--but not insurmountable in their bond); and nonetheless, strongly inspiring and touching each other in a strong relat [...]

  • What attracted me to this book was that I had always admired Coach John Wooden for his attention to being a good person above all else. Also I saw the President Obama give the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and wanted to learn more about him too. I was not disappointed. This is a true gem of a book. The key word is friendship, one that lasted 50 years. I am from Indiana, the home of Hoosier Hysteria so basketball has always been my favorite team sport. I was surpris [...]

  • Great book! The story of the journey that was the friendship between Kareem and Coach Wooden. Written in a way it makes you feel Kareem is telling you the story over dinner. A lot of behind the scenes stories. Gives new perspective on what Kareem went through and how coach Wooden reacted. Not always what one expect given coach Wooden's reputation. Chronicled the relationship of coach and player and the evolution that took place. Sometimes you feel that coach Wooden and his players always had thi [...]

  • Simply put, this is the best sports memoir that I have read in a very long time, perhaps ever. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stays focused on the subject at hand: the relationship between Coach Wooden and himself. He covers enough ground to build an understanding of Coach Wooden, who he was and the powerful influence the coach had on his own life and family. Too often, sports memoirs build the subject, a coach, a player, an athlete into a demi-god, someone pre-ordained to greatness. Not the case here. Mr. [...]

  • A coach’s primary function should be not to make better players, but to make better people.”—John WoodenYes, this is a sports book but the bigger picture is that it's about friendship and mentoring. It's about a couch and his players. I wanted something different and this book was the ticket. I had heard of John Wooden, but frankly only knew he was regarded as the best coach ever. This book is the testimony and memories of one of Wooden's players who became a friend. Mutual respect and adm [...]

  • Very similar to Becoming Kareem, Abdul-Jabbar recounts events and individuals that molded him into one of the greatest basketball players of all time. There have certainly been many influences throughout his life, but perhaps the longest and deepest friendship was with his college coach at UCLA, John Wooden. Abdul-Jabbar makes it clear that in many ways the two men were far more different than alike, yet over time the coach-player relationship morphed into a deep respect and friendship. Many of [...]

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's written tribute to his 50-year friendship with legendary basketball coach John Wooden is a gift to sports history. While the author may be the NBA's reigning all-time leading scorer (with scores of other athletic accolades also to his name), this memoir about his basketball career veers away from stats and records. Instead, it drives straight into the core of one of the most incredible mentor relationships ever seen in sports. The writing, honest and witty, is the linguisti [...]

  • This is the most inspirational sports memoir I've ever read, but in a way it wasn't about sports at all. I'm a Bruin and remember Coach Wooden getting up on stage on his wheelchair to talk to students. For 50+ years, Wooden worked tirelessly to instill the success values of the "greatest generation" on to young people. With Kareem, coach met a match; they were uniquely fitted to inspire and challenge one another through life. I also enjoyed watching the two challenge themselves to see the world [...]

  • The tale told of the evolution of the friendship between Coach John Wooden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an amazing one. I've read books of Wooden's before and know many people who have admired this number one ranked American Coach. I haven't always understood the complete admiration many have expressed but Kareem has made him come alive in these pages. And he has demonstrated the significance of friendship in one's life. Coming from different backgrounds - Wooden from the midwest who fought in WW [...]

  • This was a short and sweet love letter to a coach, mentor, and friend that made me tear up often. My dad is a huge Lakers fan who inculcated L.A. love into all of his daughters, and basketball has long been my favorite sport, so Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was like a basketball deity to me as a child (along with Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, James Worthy, Jerry West, and of course my beloved Shaq, Kobe, Pau, and Fish). I've loved Kareem even more as an adult, when I learned about his activism and rea [...]

  • Reasonably sure that I would enjoy a book about two luminaries from the basketball world, I started reading. It soon became evident that this book much more than a memoir about player and coach; it is a touching and profound story about how two extraordinary lives intertwined. Aside from family and friends, there are few relationships as important as teacher and student. Coach Wooden was foremost a teacher. Not just of basketball but of the art of living an exemplary life. Indeed, Kareem observe [...]

  • just finished a wonderful book, Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50 Year Friendship On and Off The Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This work is not a sports book but the celebration of a life well lived (John Wooden) and the lifelong friendship of two unique individuals. I knew John Wooden was one of the most successful coaches of any sport but was unaware he was also an English teacher. He did not measure success in wins & losses but in developing young men to be successful in life as husbands, fathe [...]

  • What a truly heartwarming, touching, inspirational book. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a very good writer to begin with. And this friendship should be a template for all of us. Color, race, cultural background; there are huge gaps in our understanding of each other in this country, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John Wooden found common ground in basketball, but then expanded their relationship into a deep, honest, decades long friendship that ended only with Mr. Wooden's passing. This story is touching i [...]

  • The title of this book describes it well. This was a well-written account of what John Wooden meant to not only Kareem Abdul Jabbar but to all of the players who had the privilege of having Wooden as a coach. Their relationship was built on more than basketball. The coach wanted to teach his players about life and prepare them to succeed in whatever they did. After his own father's death, Kareem considered his coach as his father. The time they spent together became very important to them especi [...]

  • Coach Wooden and Me is a terrific book illustrating what being a mentor is all about. Coach Wooden modeled mentorship to his players and remained invested in them after transition to lives post UCLA basketball. This type of mentorship is rare in society and when it is revealed it is apparent what an incredible asset it is in the lives of those who benefitted from his actions. I was likewise impressed how Kareem reciprocated the love that Coach Wooden had shown him and stayed invested in Wooden's [...]

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