John Wooden, the legendary late American college basketball coach, continues to be remembered and loved half-way across the globe in India.

The following is a first-hand account shared by well-known sports promoter Joy Bhattacharjya, as part of our ‘Humans of Basketball’ series:

“I do realize it is extremely unfashionable, but a large part of how I have tried to live my life is following my father, and an American farmer’s kid, born in 1910. John Wooden was an All-American basketball player who coached UCLA to 10 titles in 12 years and mentored some of the greatest players ever, including my idol Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

John Wooden

I found his autobiography, They Call Me Coach, in a Golpark pavement bookshop in 1982, and read it about over a hundred times till it was borrowed by a friend in the early nineties, and never returned. It was the closest thing I had to a bible and I missed it.

This year, Jaideep Mukherjee remembered my love for the book, and just a few days back, the Royal Post finally delivered this beauty. Thank you Jaideep, it truly is the circle of life.”

Read Joy’s original Facebook post here


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Joy Bhattacharjya
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