I went to John R. Wooden High School (a continuing education school) this morning for the unveiling of a 20 by 25 foot mural of John Wooden. It was incredible. I should have a photo of the mural attached soon, so you can check it out. Local artist Hector Rios didn’t know who John Wooden was before he started the mural, but he did plenty of research and numerous renderings to capture the essence of Wooden. It was a three-month process. Principal Jay Kessler came up with the idea for the project, and students assisted in the effort.
The mual is on a wall on the English classroom, which was a perfect tribute to Wooden, a former English teacher.
Many of the school’s kids were there for the ceremony. Wooden, dressed in a blue sweater, bolo tie and black pants, sat in a wheelchair for the ceremony. He was as sharp as ever. In his speech, he recited poetry and the seven-point creed that his father, Joshua, gave him.
Asked what his favorite part of the mural was, Wooden said: “My wife.”
The late Nell Wooden is depicted holding a basketball. Also on the mural are “Inch and Miles”, the character from his children’s book, Wooden heroes Abe Lincoln and Mother Teresa, etc. The words ”father, husband, teacher, coach, athlete” are on the mural, with pictures of Wooden in each of those roles.
Also, the school has a farm – you could hear roosters in the background during the ceremony – and is looking for donations of animal food. To donate, contact principal Jay Kessler at firstname.lastname@example.org.