UW Health Sports Medicine 

Ryan part of John Wooden tribute

Of the many tributes to the late John Wooden, CollegeChalkTalk.com may have come up with the best and most fitting. The legendary UCLA coach passed away on June 4 and the site recruited some of the game's top coaches and former UCLA players to write about one of the blocks on Wooden's famed Pyramid of Success.

Wooden's Pyramid of Success contains 15 philosophical building blocks for winning at basketball and at life. CollegeChalkTalk.com enlisted coaches like Bo Ryan, Steve Lavin (St. John's), Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph's), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Rick Barnes (Texas), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Ben Howland (UCLA), along with players like Bobby Hurley and Kevin Love to discuss one of the pyramid topics.

Wisconsin's Ryan addressed the building block titled "Team Spirit" and offered the following commentary:

One of the many things I admired about Coach Wooden's teams was that everyone on the team, one through 15, seemed to be involved, yet understood his individual role.  His teams were the ultimate esprit de corps and I have tried to emulate that spirit with my teams.

As Coach Wooden once said, "Team spirit means you are willing to sacrifice personal considerations for the welfare of all."

True team spirit exists when guys on the bench live through the guys on the floor, knowing that they've been a part of getting to this moment.  Everyone involved in the program knows that the actions on the floor and the success of a team are a direct result of group preparation and involvement.  The value of the experience comes from the efforts.

At Wisconsin we always talk about everything being geared toward team goals and a team championship.

Our energy is always focused on what is coming next.  Coming together as a cohesive group and fortifying strengths. Success is shared by all and blame is spread across everyone's shoulders.