Wednesday, July 14, 2010
John R. Wooden Classic will carry on
By Diamond Leung
The family of the late John Wooden has announced that the John R. Wooden Classic will go as scheduled with a doubleheader on Dec. 18. UCLA takes on BYU, and Saint Mary's takes on Long Beach State in what should be an emotional day in Anaheim.
“The Wooden family is proud to continue the Wooden Classic in honor of our father, grandfather and great grandfather,” Jim Wooden and Nancy Muehlhausen, son and daughter of the legendary coach, said in a statement. “We are so pleased the event will continue to celebrate his life and the legacy he leaves behind."
The UCLA-BYU game is an intriguing one as it features Pac-10 and Mountain West powers that should be competing for the top of their respective conferences.
Yes, it should be interesting to see if UCLA can stop Jimmer Fredette given that Bruins coach Ben Howland thought enough of this past year's defense to have it play zone.
But the night will belong to Wooden and UCLA walk-on guard Tyler Trapani, Wooden's great-grandson. Trapani has played all of two minutes in his UCLA career, with both appearances coming in each of the previous two Wooden Classics so Wooden would be able to watch him play.
Trapani has yet to attempt a shot in his career, and this is just a guess, but it should be quite the scene this year when the ball ends up in his hands and he's reminded yet again just what Wooden meant to college basketball.