John Wooden statue to be erected at renovated Pauley Pavilion
John Wooden and Pauley Pavilion forever will be linked.
His UCLA basketball teams went 149-2 there. The basketball floor is named the "Nell and John Wooden Court" after the legendary coach and his wife.
His memorial service was held there in June 2010. His great-grandson, Tyler Trapani, even scored the final points at the arena before it closed for renovations after last season.
And when Pauley Pavilion reopens in 2012, Wooden certainly will be there in spirit -- and his image will be there in the form of a statue that will be situated on the new plaza on the building's north side along Bruin Walk, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero announced Tuesday in his weekly blog.
The statue will be sculpted by Blair Buswell, head sculptor for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
"I, along with some of my staff, was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit his studio and see his initial maquettes [concepts] for the statue when the football team played at Utah last weekend," Guerrero wrote. "The studio contains life-size replicas of some of his outstanding work, including statues of Jack Nicklaus, Mickey Mantle and Merlin Olsen ... what an amazing place"
He added: "I cannot wait until we unveil the final product."
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: John Wooden coaches at Pauley Pavilion. Credit: Los Angeles Times