National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Played at regional sites and at Madison Square Garden in New York City each March and April, it was founded in 1938 and was the most prestigious post-season showcase for college basketball. Over time it became eclipsed by the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament – known today informally as "March Madness"; the NIT has since been regarded more as a "consolation" tournament for teams that did not receive a berth in the NCAA tournament. A second, much more recent "NIT" tournament is played in November and known as the NIT Season Tip-Off; the "Preseason NIT", it was founded in 1985. Like the postseason NIT, its final rounds are played at Madison Square Garden. Both tournaments were operated by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association until 2005, when they were purchased by the NCAA, the MIBA disbanded. Unless otherwise qualified, the terms "NIT" or "National Invitation Tournament" refer to the post-season tournament in both common and official use.
The post-season National Invitation Tournament was founded in 1938 by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, one year after the NAIA Tournament was created by basketball's inventor Dr. James Naismith, one year before the NCAA Tournament; the first NIT was won by the Temple University Owls over the Colorado Buffaloes. Responsibility for the NIT's administration was transferred in 1940 to the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Committee, a body of local New York colleges: Fordham University, Manhattan College, New York University, St. John's University, Wagner College; this became the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association in 1948. The tournament invited a field of 6 teams, with all games played at Madison Square Garden in downtown Manhattan; the field was expanded to 8 teams in 1941, 12 in 1949, 14 in 1965, 16 in 1968, 24 in 1979, 32 in 1980, 40 from 2002 through 2006. In 2007, the tournament reverted to the current 32-team format. In its early years, the NIT offered some advantages over the NCAA tournament: There was limited national media coverage of college basketball in the 1930s and'40s, playing in New York City provided teams greater media exposure, both with the general public and among high school prospects in its rich recruiting territory.
The NCAA tournament selection committee invited only one team each from eight national regions leaving better quality selections and natural rivals out of its field, which would opt for the NIT. From its onset and at least into the mid-1950s, the NIT was regarded as the most prestigious showcase for college basketball. All-American at Princeton and NBA champion with the New York Knicks and United States Senator Bill Bradley stated: In the 1940's, when the NCAA tournament was less than 10 years old, the National Invitation Tournament, a saturnalia held in New York at Madison Square Garden by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association, was the most glamorous of the post-season tournaments and had the better teams; the winner of the National Invitation Tournament was regarded as more of a national champion than the actual, national champion, or winner of the NCAA tournament. Several teams played in both the NIT and NCAA tournaments in the same year, beginning with Colorado and Duquesne in 1940.
Colorado subsequently finished fourth in the NCAA West Region. In 1944, Utah lost its first game in the NIT but proceeded to win not only the NCAA tournament, but the subsequent Red Cross War Charities benefit game in which they defeated NIT champion St. John's at Madison Square Garden. In 1949, some Kentucky players were bribed by gamblers to lose their first round game in the NIT; this same Kentucky team went on to win the NCAA. In 1950, City College of New York won both the NIT and the NCAA tournaments in the same season, coincidentally defeating Bradley University in the championship game of both tournaments, remains the only school to accomplish that feat because of an NCAA committee change in the early 1950s prohibiting a team from competing in both tournaments; the champions of both the NCAA and NIT tournaments played each other for a few years during World War II. From 1943 to 1945, the American Red Cross sponsored a postseason charity game between each year's tournament champions to raise money for the war effort.
The series was described by Ray Meyer as not just benefit games, but as "really the games for the national championship". The NCAA champion prevailed in all three games; the Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively selected the NIT champion as its national champion for 1938, chose the NIT champion over the NCAA champion once, in 1939. More the mathematically based Premo-Porretta Power Poll published in the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia retroactively ranked teams for each season prior to 1949, with the NIT champion finishing ahead of the NCAA champion in 1939 and 1941. Premo-Porretta ranks four NCAA champions as the best for each season, the rest being non-championship winning teams. Between 1939 and 1970, when teams could compete in either tournament, only DePaul, San Francisco and Holy Cross claim or celebrate national championships for their teams based on an NIT championship, although Long Island recognizes its selection as the 1939 national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation, made in 1943.
In 1943 the NCAA tournament moved to share Madison Square Garden with the NIT in an effort to increase the credibility of the NCAA Tournament. In 1945, The New York Times indicated that many teams could get bids to enter either tournament, not unco
Eli Camden Henderson was an American football and baseball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Muskingum College, Davis & Elkins College, Marshall University, compiling a career college football record of 161–91–13. Henderson was the head basketball coach at Muskingum, Davis & Elkins, Marshall, tallying a career college basketball mark of 621–234; as a coach in basketball, he originated the fast break and the 2–3 zone defense, hallmarks of the modern game. Henderson was born in 1890 in the small town of Joetown in West Virginia, he graduated from Glenville Normal School in 1911. Henderson began coaching at Shinnston High School in rural West Virginia moved to Bristol, West Virginia, where no gymnasium existed on his arrival. Henderson managed to have a gym constructed there, but poorly-cured wood and a leaky roof resulted in a slippery floor. Henderson began to distribute his defenders in "zones" to avoid the slick spots, he developed an offense of "breaking fast" off a missed basketball, with two forwards tearing down each sideline and a point guard bringing the ball up the court for a number of options.
Henderson is credited with the creation of the 2 -- the fast break in basketball. Henderson moved on to a head coaching position in football and basketball at Muskingum College in Ohio in 1920, but his greatest glory came during the period of 1923 to 1934 as head basketball and football coach of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia. Henderson coached the first undefeated West Virginia collegiate basketball team at Davis & Elkins and coached the first D&E state collegiate football championship team in 1928. Henderson's 1933 team won the West Virginia Athletic Conference title. At Davis & Elkins, Henderson had a 220 -- 40 record in an 81 -- 33 -- 6 record in football, his Davis & Elkins football teams beat much larger schools like West Virginia University, Fordham, George Washington and Navy. Henderson assumed a position at Marshall College, now Marshall University, in 1935, after Marshall had hired Dr. John Allen from D&E to be President of Marshall. Henderson was hired as athletic head coach for basketball and football.
Henderson would win one Buckeye Conference title. He sent the Thundering Herd to the 1948 Tangerine Bowl and he produced College Football Hall of Fame running back Jackie Hunt, who set the national scoring mark with 27 touchdowns in 1940, his basketball teams won 368 games and won the Buckeye Conference in 1936–37, 1937–38 and 1938–39, the final year for the league. He won 35 straight home games from 1944 to 1947, started the 1946–47 season 17–0 went on to a 32–5 mark and Marshall's only national championship in basketball in the NAIB Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. Henderson sent teams to the 1938 and 1948 tournament, his 1947–48 team won the Helms Foundation's Los Angeles Invitational by defeating Syracuse, 46–44. Henderson's first All-Americans were Jule Rivlin for basketball, he sent numerous players to the professional ranks, including Frank "Gunner" Gatski, the first of the Herd's two members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Gatski went on to play in 11 title games in 12 seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, winning four All-American Football Conference and three NFL titles with the Browns and one NFL title with the Lions.
Henderson recruited the first African-American to play at the all-white colleges of West Virginia when he signed Hal Greer from Huntington in 1954. Greer helped Marshall to the Mid-American Conference title in 1955–56 led the nation in scoring in 1957–58 with 88 points per game. Greer signed with the Syracuse Nationals of the NBA, but went on to greatest glory with the Philadelphia 76ers by winning the title in 1966–67 and becoming a multi-year All-Star and MVP of the 1968 All-Star game. Greer, named as one of the top 50 players in the NBA 50th Anniversary, averaged 19 points per game, five rebounds and four assists and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. Marshall had three basketball wins over Colorado during Henderson's tenure, they beat the Dayton Flyers 17 times and topped teams like BYU, South Carolina, Long Island, St. Francis, St. Louis, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Wichita State, Miami-Florida, City College of New York, Indiana State, Murray State, Western Kentucky, Kansas State, Hawaii, Idaho, Pepperdine, Texas A&M, Southern Miss and Virginia.
Over 20 seasons they had only one losing campaign, going 6–10 in Henderson's first year. His teams won as many as 32 games and they won 20 or more games eight times, he produced the first-ever first round draft pick for the NBA, Andy Tonkovich, produced All-Americans like Walt Walowac. NAIB All-Americans in 1947 and 1948 included Gene James, who played in the NBA, Bill Hall, Bill Toothman, Marvin Gutshall and Tonkovich. Rivlin was on the AP Little All-American team in 1940. Charlie Slack set a still-standing NCAA record of 25.4 rebounds per game for Henderson's final team in 1954–55, finished his career with 1,916 rebounds and 1,551 points in four seasons. Slack and Walowac played for the Goodyear Winged Foots of Akron, Ohio, in national and international AAU contests, Slack was an alternate for th
Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington is a city in Cabell and Wayne Counties in the U. S. state of West Virginia. It is the county seat of Cabell County, largest city in the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, sometimes referred to as the Tri-State Area. A historic and bustling city of commerce and heavy industry, Huntington has long-flourished due to its ideal location on the Ohio River at the mouth of the Guyandotte River, it is home to the Port of Huntington Tri-State, the second-busiest inland port in the United States. Surrounded by extensive natural resources, the industrial sector is based in coal, oil and steel, all of which support Huntington's diversified economy; the city is a vital rail-to-river transfer point for the marine transportation industry. It is considered a scenic locale in the western foothills of the Appalachian Mountains; this location was selected by Collis Potter Huntington as ideal for the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, the predecessor of what would become CSX Transportation which still operates CSX Transportation-Huntington Division in the city to date.
The railroad founded Huntington as one of the nation's first planned communities to facilitate the railroad and other transportation-related industries at the railway's western terminus. Developing fast after the railroad's completion in 1871, the site was a collection of agricultural homesteads, is eponymously named for the railroad company's founder Collis Potter Huntington; the first identifiable permanent settlement, Holderby's Landing, was founded in 1775 in the Colony of Virginia. With the exception of the neighborhoods of Westmoreland and Spring Valley, most of the city is in Cabell County; as of the 2010 census, the metropolitan area is the largest in West Virginia. It spans seven counties across three states, with a population of 365,419. Huntington is the second-largest city in West Virginia, with a population of 49,138 at the 2010 census; the city is the home of Marshall University as well as the Huntington Museum of Art. S. Army Corps of Engineers; the largest employers are Marshall University, Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary's Medical Center, CSX Transportation, the U.
S. Army Corps of Engineers, DirecTV, the City of Huntington. Huntington is in the southwestern corner of West Virginia, on the border with Ohio, on the southern bank of the Ohio River, at the confluence with the Guyandotte River; the city lies within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau. Most of the city is in Cabell County. A portion of the city the neighborhood of Westmoreland, is in Wayne County. Huntington is divided into four main sections; the north/south divider is the CSX railroad tracks. Residents of Huntington are called "Huntingtonians." According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.46 square miles, of which 16.22 square miles is land and 2.24 square miles is water. The Guyandotte River joins the Ohio River about 5 miles east of downtown. Huntington fills the three-mile wide flood plain of the south bank of the Ohio River for eighty square blocks and portions of the hills to the immediate south and southeast. Huntington was founded on populated lands near Guyandotte as a C&O Railroad hub, on the southern bank of the Ohio River, at the confluence with the Guyandotte River.
The site is at the southwestern corner of West Virginia on the border with the state of Ohio and near the border of both states with Kentucky. Discounting the period of French ownership, the land, part of Guyandotte and Huntington was part of the 28,628-acre French and Indian War veteran's Savage Grant; the area of greater Huntington, although situated in a Southern state, was long considered a western city in what was the Colony of Virginia since the first permanent settlements were founded in 1775 in defiance of British injunctions against settlements west of the Alleghenies in the vicinity of Holderby's Landing. The old Federal Era town of Guyandotte was first built upon in 1799 by French settlers of the Ohio Valley, has homes dating back to 1820 and a graveyard containing 18th-century French and colonial-era settlers, including surnames such as LeTulle and Buffington. A farmer James Holderby purchased the lands in 1821 upon which much of Huntington now stands, why the area was known as Holderby's Landing prior to 1870-71 when it was incorporated and renamed.
The C&O purchased the area in 1870, by 1873 when the railroad connected Richmond to the Ohio, it had undergone a transition from a sleepy agricultural region with the nearby subscription Academy into a growing rail center poised to act as a spring board for a railroad to penetrate and connect the midwest with the eastern seaboard. The town of Guyandotte was absorbed in 1891. Modern day Huntington is divided into four main sections; the north/south divider is the CSX railroad tracks. A portion of the city the neighborhood of Westmoreland, is in Wayne County. Most of the city is in Cabell County. Huntington
Kobe Bean Bryant is an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, he won five NBA championships. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league's all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Bryant is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons. Bryant is the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, he enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. Upon graduation, he declared for the NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft; the Hornets traded him to the Lakers.
As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, he was named an All-Star by his second season. Despite a feud between the two players and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault, but the charges were dropped, a civil suit was settled out of court. After the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat and Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers, he led the NBA in scoring during the 2005 -- 2006 -- 07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award in 2008. After losing in the 2008 NBA Finals, he led the Lakers to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the Finals MVP Award on both occasions.
He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013 until he suffered a torn Achilles tendon at age 34. Although he recovered, his play was limited the following two years by season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively. Citing his physical decline, he announced. At 34 years and 104 days of age, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points, he became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West. During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement, his four All-Star MVP Awards are tied for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U. S. national team. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball. Bryant was born in 1978 in Philadelphia.
He is the maternal nephew of basketball player John "Chubby" Cox. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, which they saw on a restaurant menu, his middle name, Bean, is derived from his father's nickname "Jellybean". Bryant was raised Roman Catholic; when Bryant was six, his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Rieti in Italy to continue playing professional basketball at a lower level. Kobe learned to speak fluent Italian. During summers, he would come back to the United States to play in a basketball summer league. Bryant started playing basketball when he was 3 years old, the Lakers were his favorite team when he was growing up. Bryant's grandfather would mail him videos of NBA games. At an early age, he learned to play soccer and his favorite team was A. C. Milan; when Kobe's father Joe retired as a player in 1991, the family moved back to the United States. Bryant earned national recognition during a spectacular high school career at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion.
He played on the varsity basketball team as a freshman. He became the first freshman in decades to start for Lower Merion's varsity team, but the team finished with a 4–20 record; the following three years, the Aces compiled a 77–13 record, with Bryant playing all five positions. During his junior year, he averaged 31.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and was named Pennsylvania Player of the Year, attracting attention from college recruiters in the process. Duke, North Carolina and Villanova were at the top of his list. At Adidas ABCD camp, Bryant earned the 1995 senior MVP award while playing alongside future NBA teammate Lamar Odom. While in high school 76ers coach John Lucas invited Bryant to work out and scrimmage with the team, where he played one-on-one with Jerry Stackhouse. In his senior year of high school, Bryant led the Aces to their first state championship in 53 years. During the run, he averaged 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4 steals, 3.8 blocked shots in leading the Aces to a 31–3 record.
Bryant ended his high school career as Southeastern Pennsylvania's all-time leading scorer at 2,883 points, surpassing both Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons. Bryant received several awards for his outstanding performance during his senior year at Lower Merion; the awards included being na
Jerry Alan West is an American basketball executive and former player who played professionally for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. His nicknames included Mr. Clutch, for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation, such as his famous buzzer-beating 60-foot shot that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks. West played the small forward position early in his career, he was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, where he led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, he earned the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honor despite the loss. He embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, was the co-captain of the 1960 U. S. Olympic gold medal team, a squad, inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. West's NBA career was successful. Playing the guard position, he was voted 12 times into the All-NBA First and Second Teams, was elected into the NBA All-Star Team 14 times, was chosen as the All-Star MVP in 1972, the same year that he won the only title of his career.
West holds the NBA record for the highest points per game average in a playoff series with 46.3. He was a member of the first five NBA All-Defensive Teams, which were introduced when he was 32 years old. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team. West was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996. After his playing career ended, West took over as head coach of the Lakers for three years, he earned a Western Conference Finals berth once. Working as a player-scout for three years, West was named general manager of the Lakers prior to the 1982–83 NBA season. Under his reign, Los Angeles won six championship rings. In 2002, West became general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and helped the franchise win their first-ever playoff berths. For his contributions, West won the NBA Executive of the Year Award twice, once as a Lakers manager and as a Grizzlies manager.
West's son, played college basketball for West Virginia. Jerome Alan West was born into a poor household in West Virginia, he was the fifth of six children of Cecil Sue West, a housewife, Howard Stewart West, a coal mine electrician. West was an aggressive child in his youth, until his brother's death in the Korean War aged 21 turned him into a shy and introverted boy when Jerry was 12/13, he was so small and weak that he needed lots of vitamin injections from his doctor and was kept apart from children's sports, to prevent him from getting injured. Growing up, West spent his days hunting and fishing, but his main activity was shooting at a basketball hoop that a neighbor had nailed to his storage shed. West spent days shooting baskets from every possible angle, ignoring mud and snow in the backyard, as well as his mother's whippings when he came home hours late for dinner. West attended East Bank High School in East Bank, West Virginia from 1952 to 1956. During his first year, he was benched by his coach Duke Shaver due to his lack of height.
Shaver emphasized the importance of conditioning and defense, which were lessons that the teenager appreciated. West soon became the captain of the freshman team, during the summer of 1953 he grew to 6 ft 0 in. West became the team's starting small forward, he established himself as one of the finest West Virginia high school players of his generation, he was named All-State from 1953–56 All-American in 1956 when he was West Virginia Player of the Year, becoming the state's first high-school player to score more than 900 points in a season, with an average of 32.2 points per game. West's mid-range jump shot became his trademark and he used it to score while under pressure from opposing defenses. West led East Bank to a state championship on March 24 that year, prompting East Bank High School to change its name to "West Bank High School" every year on March 24 in honor of their basketball prodigy; this practice remained in effect until the school closed in 1999. West graduated from East Bank High School in 1956, more than 60 universities showed interest in him.
He chose to stay in his home state and attend West Virginia University, located in Morgantown. In his freshman year, West was a member of the WVU freshman squad that achieved a perfect record of 17 wins without a loss over the course of the season. In his first varsity year under head coach Fred Schaus, West scored 17.8 points per game and averaged 11.1 rebounds. These performances earned him a multitude of honors, among them an All-American Third Team call-up; the Mountaineers went 26–2 that year, ending the season with a loss to Manhattan College in post-season tournament play. During his junior year, West scored 26.6 points per game
The WVU Coliseum is a 14,000-seat multi-purpose arena located on the Evansdale campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The circular arena features a poured concrete roof, it was built with state funds and replaced the WVU Fieldhouse, which seated 6,000. The Coliseum, which opened in 1970, has more than 10.5 million cubic feet of space. It is home to West Virginia University Mountaineers sports teams, including the men's and women's basketball teams, men's wrestling, women's volleyball and gymnastics. There is a 3,000-square-foot weight room located in the lower level of the Coliseum; the arena has nearly 100 offices, 13 lecture and seminar rooms, a dance studio, safety lab and squash courts, the Jerry West Mountaineer Room, which holds nearly 150 people for meetings. The arena has more than 1,000 individual locker units in various dressing rooms available for students and staff; the Coliseum has been used for music concerts but the concrete roof has poor sound distribution properties, so other venues in town are more appropriate for this purpose.
The poor sound quality was purposeful, as it was the intention of the designers to cup the ceiling so that crowd noise generated at basketball games would be directed back to the floor. The seating at the venue was designed for optimized viewing during sporting events, making the setup for concerts to be not as optimal as other large arenas; the first event held at the Coliseum was a Grand Funk Railroad concert in 1970, with the first game taking place on 1 December 1970. The Coliseum was one of the sites for games of the 1974 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Other National Collegiate Athletic Association men's Division I college basketball events it has hosted include the ECAC South Region Tournament organized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 1975 and 1976 and the Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball tournament in 1984 and 1988. During the 1998-99 season, the Jerry West Lounge, named for WVU and National Basketball Association Hall-of-Famer Jerry West, was formally dedicated.
A display showcasing the highlights of the Mountaineer great flanks the entrance to the lounge. In November 2005, the University announced that a life size bronze statue of West would adorn the Blue Gate entrance of the Coliseum, the statue has since been installed there. West's number is retired and a sign hangs over Seating Section 44 with "Jerry West 44" written on it. Hot Rod Hundley's number 33 is retired and hangs from the walls. In 1999-2000, the school was forced to play a year of games split between Wheeling and Charleston, the gymnasium at nearby Fairmont State University while asbestos was removed from the Coliseum. In 2004 the Coliseum underwent an upgrade which included renovations to the men's and women's locker rooms, construction of a player's lounge and team video theater, expansion of the equipment and athletic training rooms, refurbishment of the Coliseum roof, construction of a club seating area in the main arena complete with a private space for concessions, hospitality area, rest rooms under the lower level seats.
In 2008, the Coliseum received a new video scoreboard, a new public address system, a new lighting system, two LED ribbon boards, a new floor design. WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong announced the construction of a new $20–$22 million practice facility to be built adjacent to the Coliseum. West Virginia Men's Basketball season results in the ColiseumOVERALL: 547–158 List of NCAA Division I basketball arenas WVUSports.com on the WVU Coliseum WVU Coliseum Information
John Robert Wooden was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than four in a row in women's basketball. Within this period, his teams won an NCAA men's basketball record 88 consecutive games. Wooden won the prestigious Henry Iba Award as national coach of the year a record seven times and won the AP award five times, he won a Helms national championship at Purdue as a player 1931–1932 for a total of 10 NCAA Titles and 1 Helms Championships As a 5'10" guard, Wooden was the first player to be named basketball All-American three times, the 1932 Purdue team on which he played as a senior was retroactively recognized as the pre-NCAA Tournament national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. Wooden was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and as a coach, the first person enshrined in both categories.
Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn are the only other basketball players who have since achieved the same honors. One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success." These were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball. Wooden's 29-year coaching career and overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim have created a legacy of great interest in not only sports, but in business, personal success, organizational leadership as well. Wooden was born in 1910 in Hall, Indiana, to Roxie and Joshua Wooden, moved with his family to a small farm in Centerton in 1918, he had three brothers: Maurice and William, two sisters, one who died in infancy, another, Harriet Cordelia, who died from diphtheria at the age of two. When he was a boy, Wooden's role model was Fuzzy Vandivier of the Franklin Wonder Five, a legendary team that dominated Indiana high school basketball from 1919 to 1922.
After his family moved to the town of Martinsville when he was 14, Wooden led his high school team to a state tournament title in 1927. He was a three-time All-State selection. After graduating from high school in 1928, he attended Purdue University and was coached by Ward "Piggy" Lambert; the 1932 Purdue team on which he played as a senior was retroactively recognized as the pre-NCAA Tournament national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Poretta Power Poll. John Wooden was named All-Big Ten and All-Midwestern while at Purdue, he was the first player to be named a three-time consensus All-American, he was selected for membership in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Wooden is an honorary member of the International Co-Ed Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Wooden was nicknamed "The Indiana Rubber Man" for his suicidal dives on the hardcourt, he graduated from Purdue in 1932 with a degree in English. After college, Wooden spent several years playing professional basketball with the Indianapolis Kautskys, Whiting Ciesar All-Americans, Hammond Ciesar All-Americans while he taught and coached in the high school ranks.
During one 46-game stretch, he made 134 consecutive free throws. He was named to the NBL's First Team for the 1937–38 season. During World War II in 1942, he joined the United States Navy, he left the service as a lieutenant. Wooden coached two years at Dayton High School in Kentucky, his first year at Dayton, the 1932–33 season, marked the only time he had a losing record as a coach. After Dayton, he returned to Indiana, where he taught English and coached basketball at South Bend Central High School until entering the Armed Forces. Wooden spent two years at nine years at Central, his high school coaching record over 11 years was 218–42. After World War II, Wooden coached at Indiana State Teachers College renamed Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, from 1946 to 1948, succeeding his high school coach, Glenn M. Curtis. In addition to his duties as basketball coach, Wooden coached baseball and served as athletic director, all while teaching and completing his master's degree in education. In 1947, Wooden's basketball team won the Indiana Intercollegiate Conference title and received an invitation to the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball National Tournament in Kansas City.
Wooden refused the invitation. One of Wooden's players, Clarence Walker, was a black man from Indiana; that same year, Wooden's alma mater Purdue University asked him to return to campus and serve as an assistant to then-head coach Mel Taube until Taube's contract expired, when Wooden would take over the program. Citing his loyalty to Taube, Wooden declined the offer, because this would have made Taube a lame-duck coach. In 1948, Wooden again led Indiana State to the conference title; the NAIB had reversed its policy banning African-American players that year, Wooden coached his team to the NAIB National Tournament final, losing to Louisville. This was the only championship game a Wooden-coached team lost; that year, Walker became the first African-American to play in any post-season intercollegiate basketball tournament. In the 1948–1949 season, Wooden was hired as the fourth basketball coach in UCLA history, he succeeded Fred Cozens, Caddy Works, Wilbur Johns.