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Coach's Weekly Hits: College Basketball and the Aztecs

John Kantera's weekly blog

Mornings with John Kentera
November 14, 2018 - 4:36 pm
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College Basketball Memories

With the start of the college basketball season, it always brings back great memories from seasons past. Growing up in San Diego in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, I grew up watching a lot of UCLA Basketball on KTLA channel 5 out of Los Angeles. It was incredible to watch those great teams put together by Bruins Coach John Wooden.

My favorite UCLA players growing up were Bill Walton and Sidney Wicks. Bill Walton will say that Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the best college player of all time. He was known in his college days as Lew Alcindor.

The Big redhead from La Mesa could control a basketball game at either end of the floor. A few years ago I was sitting at the Jenny Craig Pavilion during halftime of a USD game and Bill was sitting at the end of the court. A young, aspiring sports journalist was sitting next to me.

I said to him, “ Do you know who that is?" He replied, "no." I said to the young man, "That is Bill Walton the great UCLA player." and I went on to say, "If I live another hundred years I won’t see a player that good in every phase of the game."

Sidney Wicks was a 6:9 player who was tough as nails and always played bigger. When he was at UCLA and they needed a basket, Coach Wooden would always run a play for Wicks to go one-on-one. Those were really fun times following those great UCLA teams, and we all were really spoiled. They rarely ever lost and when they did you were left speechless.

College Football

Should any of us really be surprised that the Aztecs lost to a bad UNLV team? This Aztec team is young and flawed in several areas. Winning seven games with two to play is actually a great coaching job. The problem I see is, with all the success the program has had over the last decade, the talent level in recruiting really hasn’t increased. There was a time when San Diego State could recruit top-ranked quarterbacks and wide receivers which does not appear to be the case any longer. 

Hope everyone has a great week. Coach Kentera Twitter @coachkentera44