John Wooden relative hits historic hoop
LOS ANGELES -- The great-grandson of the late John Wooden scored UCLA's final basket in the last men's game to be played at historic Pauley Pavilion before it closes for renovation.
The Bruins defeated No. 10 Arizona 71-49 to tie the Wildcats for first place in the Pac-10.
Trapani made the basket in front of several Wooden family members, including the coaching legend's son Jim and daughter Nan. Wooden died at 99 in June.
"When I got the ball, it was instinct to put it back up," he said. "I knew I was close to the basket so I put it back up as fast as I could."
UCLA coach Ben Howland had tears in his eyes at the way the game ended.
"I was thinking about Coach," he said of the man who led the Bruins to 10 national championships. "It was so fitting Tyler hit the shot. It fell right in his hands. There's something going on there, I really believe it."
Wooden got to see Trapani play the final minute of UCLA's game at the 2009 Wooden Classic in Anaheim, one of his relative's few appearances in a game.
"It's an emotional day," Trapani said. "Just being out there is something I'll never forget."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES TOP STORIES
- Rawlings UCLA Bruins Alley Oop Youth-Sized Rubber Basketball