John Wooden's family plans to put his Encino condo on the market soon, but fans will still be able to get a small taste of what it was like to visit the legendary UCLA coach's home even after it's sold.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Wooden's family will donate the contents of his den to UCLA so the room can essentially be preserved in the school's athletic Hall of Fame. The exhibit will include everything from the stacks of poetry anthologies and Abraham Lincoln or Mother Theresa biographies that once littered Wooden's shelves to the photos of his late wife Nell that lined his walls.
The man who originally hatched the idea is longtime UCLA associate athletic director Bob Field. School officials hope to have the exhibit ready for viewing by the end of the year and plan to keep it up for as long as possible.
"Five years from now and 50 years from now, we want our student-athletes to be affected by the man he was," Field [told the Daily News].
"Maybe this is more of a tangible thing for people on the outside, and enjoyment of our own people. One of the treasures was sitting in his home surrounded by books and trinkets and letters and photos and the filing cabinet. They always came away treasuring that opportunity to sit in his den."
Wooden has become so synonymous with UCLA that it's easy to forget his impact on other places. Daughter Nan Muehlhausen told the Daily News that the family will temporarily donate memorabilia to Purdue, Wooden's alma mater; Indiana State, the school that gave him his first college head-coaching job; and Martinsville, Ind., his childhood hometown.
Wooden's legacy is still fresh in all of our minds because it was only a few months ago that he died just shy of his 100th birthday, but there will come a time when future players and fans need a reminder.
Good for UCLA and the other schools for requesting memorabilia that will help keep his memory alive. And good for Wooden's family for honoring those requests.