Purdue three-time All-American John Wooden died Friday. He was 99.
Wooden played from the Boilermakers in the early 1930s, including during 1932 when Purdue was selected as national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation. (The NCAA didn't sanction a postseason tournament until 1939, so Purdue claims 1932 as a national championship.)
Wooden, a guard, averaged 12.2 points per game as a senior and was named National Player of the Year by the Helms Athletic Foundation. He also helped Purdue to two Big Ten titles.
"There isn't a more respected, influential and genuine figure in the history of the game than Coach Wooden," current Purdue coach Matt Painter said in a release. "This is a tremendous loss, but his legacy will live on through the countless people whom he touched over the years."
Said athletic director Morgan Burke: "Kate and I were fortunate to meet Coach Wooden on numerous occasions. What came through all the words – each time we met – were Coach Wooden’s leadership principles, dry sense of humor and love of his wife, Nell. John Wooden couldn’t tell me enough about Ward ‘Piggy’ Lambert and his positive impact on both basketball and Purdue."
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