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UCLA basketball: John Wooden turns 99

October 14, 2009 |  8:36 am

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden turns 99 today and has a message for people who have passed along their best wishes.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of fans who have sent birthday cards and e-mails to me," Wooden said.

More than 1,500 people from 13 countries on five continents have posted congratulations on a website created for the occasion.

According to the university, Wooden will spend the day with his family, which includes two children, seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Over the course of his 27 years at UCLA, he won 10 national championships. A panel of experts gathered by Sporting News recently voted him the greatest coach ever in any sport.

-- David Wharton