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Summer 2003
Hoop Dreams
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As a kid growing up watching UCLA basketball on television, Ben Howland always imagined himself as a Bruin. Now he is one

By Wendy Soderburg ’82
Photography
by Brett Panelli

You might say that Ben Howland has gone into the family business.

His three siblings are all teachers. His mother taught English at a junior college for 20 years. His father was a minister, certainly a teaching profession. It’s just that Howland’s classroom at UCLA will be a little different than what other members of his family have experienced. His pedagogical forum will be the court of Pauley Pavilion where, as UCLA’s new head basketball coach, he will be tackling one of the toughest teaching jobs of all: molding the character and skills of athletically talented and highly competitive young men in an environment where expectations are high.

“If you’re not willing to risk failure, you’ll never really enjoy true success,” Howland says. “Every job in this business of coaching has pressure, probably even more so in terms of expectation levels. You can’t be afraid of pressure. I’m going to go right at it.”

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