Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court

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Abdul-Jabbar’s style is free and easy, with some flashes of humor. An occasional error appears on the score sheet...but the author is candid about his attitudes toward the racial turmoil of the 1960s...
-Kirkus

Synopsis

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
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.
 

About Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Giant Steps, as well as Kareem and A Season on the Reservation. ANTHONY WALTON is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Mississippi, as well as the coauthor of Reverend Al Sharpton's book Go and Tell the Pharoah.
 
Published May 16, 2017 by Grand Central Publishing. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Self Help, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 04 2017
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Coach Wooden and Me
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 02 2017

Abdul-Jabbar’s style is free and easy, with some flashes of humor. An occasional error appears on the score sheet...but the author is candid about his attitudes toward the racial turmoil of the 1960s...

Read Full Review of Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Y... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Wes Lukowsky on May 01 2017

Abdul-Jabbar and Wooden shared a priceless friendship, and this sensitive, sharply written account brings it to full, vivid life.

Read Full Review of Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Y...

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