John Wooden was honored with a moment of silence before Game 2 of the NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, two of Wooden's greatest players at UCLA, took turns speaking publicly for the first time since the 99-year-old Hall of Famer died Friday.
"It's very difficult for me to put into words the greatness of John Wooden," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He was so much more than a basketball coach. To have him in my life was a true blessing. I will always be grateful I was able to be one of his students."
Abdul-Jabbar rushed back from Europe to visit Wooden at his hospital bedside before he died. Wooden'steams won a record 10 NCAA championships at UCLA, including seven in a row.
Walton recalled what Wooden would tell his players before every game.
"I've done my best. The rest is up to you," he said. "Now that he's gone, it's up to us to carry on his ideals of peace, love, excellence, education and service. We love you more than words can ever tell."
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The John Wooden reading list