The Daily Mirror

Los Angeles history

« Previous Post | The Daily Mirror Home | Next Post »

Nixons Visit Capistrano; Alcindor Era Ends, March 23, 1969

March 23, 2009 |  8:00 am

President and Mrs. Nixon join Cardinal McIntyre at San Juan Capistrano.

1969_0323_alcindor One of college basketball's most dominating players ended his college career in customary fashion as Lew Alcindor led UCLA to its fifth national championship in six seasons with a 92-72 thumping of Purdue.

Jeff Prugh's story naturally focused on the man in the middle. "Soon he was arm in arm with his father, who had spent the afternoon playing first trombone in the Bruin band. And then he was holding both hands aloft again--three fingers raised on one, the index finger on the other," Prugh wrote.

"The Lew Alcindor era, after 88 victories in 90 games, was over. A record three NCAA championships in a row--that's what the three fingers stood for. The No. 1 team in the land--that's what the index finger was all about."

Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was dominating in his college finale with 37 points and 20 rebounds. He was asked after the game what he'd do differently if he had a second chance at the last four years.

"I don't think I'd go through them again," he said, some of the reporters laughing. "It got so that sometimes there weren't enough hours in the day for everything. But you manage. Somehow you manage and everything gets done."

--Keith Thursby