“Be uncomfortable being comfortable, discontent being content.”

THE 1961–1962 SEASON would be a turning point for UCLA basketball, one that eventually produced 10 NCAA championships including seven in consecutive years and an 88-game winning streak. I had no idea it was all about to happen.

At the beginning of the season, I’d been coaching basketball at UCLA for 13 years in conditions I would describe as harsh, perhaps as bad as any major university in the country. Our practice facility, the Men’s Gym, was cramped and poorly ventilated and often jammed with student-athletes participating in other sporting activities during our basketball practices. There was constant commotion and distraction—hardly a place to teach ...

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