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UCLA students plan 8 p.m. rally for John Wooden, who is resting 'comfortably' at hospital

June 4, 2010 |  5:46 pm

UCLA students and others plan to gather at 8 tonight at a vigil for legendary Bruin basketball coach John Wooden as the university said he "continues to rest comfortably" and "is surrounded by his family."

The rally is scheduled outside Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where Wooden is reportedly in grave condition.

About 300 UCLA students broke away from their books on the eve of finals Friday to rally for Wooden.

Gathering tightly around the iconic Bruin Bear, they raised their hands high in the air and performed the university's eight-clap chant. "Wooden, Wooden, Wooden" the crowd hollered.

Word of the brief rally spread on Facebook, with some students joining the crowd on their way to class. The 99-year-old Wooden, once a frequent attendee at men's basketball and women's gymnastics contests, has become a sporadic presence on the Westwood campus in recent years.

For many undergraduates, decades removed from Wooden’s famed championship run, the details of the former coach’s legacy are hazy. But the student body has come to revere the coach as a figure who transcends basketball. His likeness and quotes are posted around campus, and standing ovations are the norm when he attends events.

--Robert Faturechi in Westwood

Remembering John Wooden: Full Times Coverage: