Wednesday, May 17, 2017
College Street Music Hall
238 College Street
New Haven, CT 06510
The author and sports Hall of Famer discusses the new memoir of his decades-long friendship with UCLA coach and mentor John Wooden.
In conversation about Coach Wooden and Me – Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court, Abdul-Jabbar talks about the extraordinary connection between one player and one coach that led to basketball history and an American legend.
The event is a fundraiser for Read to Grow. Each $75 ticket includes a copy of his new book. A portion of each ticket purchase ($51) is a charitable donation and is tax deductible.
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 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 century.
COACH 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.
Read to Grow is a statewide agency that has distributed more than 1.5 million free books since the year 2000 through our two programs: Books for Babies and Books for Kids.
Our mission: Promoting language skills and literacy for children, beginning at birth, and supporting parents as their babies’ first teachers.
Our vision: Every family—regardless of income and primary language—will understand the critical importance of early childhood literacy and will take an active role in their child’s reading development. All children in Connecticut will have books of their own.