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John Wooden's secret to living a long life

6/5/2010
Play4:34
John Wooden: Love Letters

Rick Reilly profiles the great love affair between legendary coach John Wooden and his late wife Nell

Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden at age 99 is reportedly in grave condition at a hospital on the school's campus.

In what might end up being one of his final sit-down interviews, Wooden, at the December 2009 Wooden Classic, answered Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers when asked how he has managed to live such a long life:

But how does one live so long, he's asked, and he points to the whiskey Winston Churchill drank, the cigars George Burns had, and says, "How long did they live?

"There's no answer," he says, "but if I had to give one, I'd say life needs balance. And love."

As if on cue, it's his turn to feel the love in the arena. They show him on the overhead scoreboard in the Honda Center, and the crowd rises to its feet and just stays there.

Love, Wooden told Rick Reilly in November, is the "most important word in our language." Asked how to make love last, Wooden had this to say: