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Interview with The Coach Wooden Statue: Stand And Deliver

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By Mark Davis

Published Apr 1, 2015 8:00 AM


The Coach Wooden statue says what’s on his mind.

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Illustrations by Loris Lora

The Coach John Wooden Statue, created by renowned sculptor Blair Buswell, is only a little more than 2 years old, but already it’s among the most popular campus icons at UCLA. Standing at the entrance to Pauley Pavilion, arms crossed, holding Coach’s famous rolled-up program, the statue keeps watch over Bruin Walk, offering silent encouragement to those who pass. Though obviously unable to sit down for an interview, he agreed to answer questions from a cub reporter via a Twitter chat.

@UCLAReporter

Thanks for this unconventional interview. Luckily you’re on UCLA’s Wi-Fi.

@JWoodenStatue

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

@UCLAReporter

Sorry I’m rushed. I didn’t get my research done. I promised to turn this in last week.

@JWoodenStatue

B prepared and b honest. B quick, but don’t hurry. If u don’t have time to do it right, when will u have time to do it over?

@UCLAReporter

Good question, good advice. And good job w/Twitter abbreviations, btw. I just want this to be perfect, no mistakes.

@JWoodenStatue

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

@UCLAReporter

That’s easy for you to say, but I’m worried I won’t do you justice. You’re a campus icon.

@JWoodenStatue

You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. ... Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

@UCLAReporter

Now you sound like my editor, but a nice version. He can be a real pain in my side. Always on my case about something.

@JWoodenStatue

Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights.

@UCLAReporter

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You’re right, I’ll get an earlier start next time.

@JWoodenStatue

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

@UCLAReporter

What do you think made you an instant campus icon when you were unveiled in 2012?

@JWoodenStatue

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

@UCLAReporter

Your surroundings are great, but do you ever get tired of the same view? Wouldn’t you like to walk around now and then?

@JWoodenStatue

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Never mistake activity for achievement.

@UCLAReporter

But were you worried when that water main burst last year, flooding the area around you?

@JWoodenStatue

Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.

@UCLAReporter

Any final thoughts?

@JWoodenStatue

Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.

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