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Matt Norlander

Iconic UCLA coach John Wooden in grave condition

The Dagger

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UPDATE: John Wooden spent "a peaceful night" at UCLA Medical Center and is "resting comfortably" on Friday morning, according to a release from UCLA.

The 99-year-old college basketball coaching icon was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday as a result of dehydration, the school said. UCLA intends to provide a further update on Wooden's condition Friday afternoon.

Sad news started coming out of Los Angeles on Thursday night, and the updates keep coming in on Twitter. Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden is in grave condition at the UCLA Medical Center.

"In accordance with the wishes of the family, we are not commenting on Coach Wooden's health," a UCLA official told press services.

Wooden's health has deteroriated over the past five years (including battling pneumonia and breaking his wrist and collar bone in a fall).

Though death is inevitable for all of us, no time seems right for the Wizard of Westwood to leave us. Wooden changed the landscape of college basketball in the 1960s and '70s by winning 10 national championships — including seven in a row. He became what many consider to be the greatest coach in the history of the game.

Aside from all the winning he accomplished, Wooden is known for his neglect of profanity, dedication to work ethic, punctuality, dislike of facial hair, the Pyramid of Success and the phrase "be quick, but don't hurry."

But, above all, Wooden is considered by many to be a romantic. Following his high school sweetheart Nell's death in 1985, he wrote letters to her and visited her grave every month. He found numerous ways to honor her in the years following her death, in fact, and many — if not most — stories written about him for the past 25 years revolved around his love for Nell and how he coped without her.

Wooden is also one of the few humans to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. If you'd like to hear the man's voice, it comes at you proudly and definitively when you visit his official website. I may have to refresh that 10 or 12 times tonight.

Also, The Washington Post, which got a little ahead of itself by proclaiming Wooden dead (and at the time of this post, he is not), already has a photo gallery up and ready of Wooden throughout the past 60 years.

The Dagger and Yahoo! Sports will continue to have updated coverage of Wooden's life and reaction from former players, fellow coaches and those who knew him well.

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