Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

John Wooden has scored his own stamp

February 23, 2024

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The Postal Service will release its stamp honoring John Wooden on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Wooden led the UCLA Bruins to a record-setting 10 NCAA Division I basketball national championships, four perfect seasons and 88 consecutive victories.

Born in 1910 in rural Indiana, Wooden’s love of the game started early. He helped his high school team win a state basketball tournament in 1927, was an All-American at Purdue University three years in a row and received the Big Ten Medal of Honor for scholarship and athletic prowess.

In 1946, after serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he started coaching at Indiana State University.

Wooden began his career at UCLA in 1948 and retired in 1975. During his tenure, the Bruins became one of America’s most well-known dynasties, earning Wooden the nickname the “Wizard of Westwood,” after the neighborhood where UCLA is located.

He is credited with helping to break the color barrier in college basketball as a coach and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice: in 1960, as a player for Purdue University in the 1930s, and in 1973, as a coach.

He was named NCAA basketball coach of the year six times.

In 2003, Wooden received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He died in 2010 at age 99.

The John Wooden stamp was designed by Antonio Alcalá, an art director for USPS. It features a portrait of Wooden by illustrator Alexis Franklin, based on an early 1970s photograph by Norm Schindler.

The numbers on the two players’ jerseys — 4 and 10 — symbolize the Bruins’ four perfect seasons and 10 NCAA national championships under Wooden.

The Forever stamp will be available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.

The Postal Service will dedicate the stamp Feb. 24 at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

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