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Before the construction of Pauley Pavilion, the on-campus home to the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team in the early 1960’s was the 2,000 seat Men's Gym, disparagingly nicknamed the "B.O. Barn". Games were also played at the Pan Pacific Auditorium, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and other venues around Los Angeles. After John Wooden coached the Bruins to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1964 both Coach Wooden and the fans felt that a suitable arena needed to be built. The arena was to be constructed so that there would be some space between the crowds and the action on the court. Coach Wooden cited the example of the close quarters of Harmon Gym (now Haas Pavilion) where fans were close enough to pull leg hairs from his players' legs. H.R. Haldeman [Chief on Staff of Nixon White House 1969-1973] headed the campaign to build a state-of-the-art sports arena. The building, designed by architect Welton Becket, was dedicated in June 1965 in the name of University of California Regent Edwin W. Pauley, who had matched substantial alumni contributions. Pauley ultimately donated almost one fifth of the more than $5,000,000 spent in building the arena.
John Wooden’s prized recruit Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, was enticed to UCLA partly on the promise of playing in the new arena. The facility in Westwood opened for the 1965–1966 college basketball season. In the first game ever played on the new court, a freshman team led by Lew Alcindor defeated the varsity team in a scrimmage, which heralded great things to come. Ohio State was the first visiting team in the regular season. The Bruins defeated the Buckeyes in the inaugural game 92-66. In the decades that followed, some of the top names in the history of college basketball, such as Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Bill Walton, Ed O'Bannon, Sidney Wicks, Marques Johnson, Reggie Miller, Baron Davis, Ann Meyers, Denise Curry and Pete Maravich and coaches such as John Wooden, Dean Smith and Denny Crum have graced the court at Pauley.
Ground Zero for College Basketball’s Greatest Dynasty
Nothing enhanced Pauley's reputation as perhaps the nation's most famous collegiate sporting facility more than the tenure of legendary coach John Wooden. “The Wizard of Westwood” as Wooden was known, built an incomparable basketball dynasty at UCLA against which all others are compared, and usually pale. His teams at UCLA won 10 national championships (nine on this original court) in a 12-season stretch from 1964 to 1975. From 1971 to 1974, UCLA won 88 consecutive games, still the NCAA record. Four of Wooden’s teams finished with 30-0 records, including his first championship team, which featured no starters taller than 6 feet 5 inches. Three of his other championship teams were anchored by 7-foot, 2-inch center Lew Alcindor. Two others were led by center Bill Walton, a three-time national player of the year.
SCP Auctions is honored to offer the original jump circle from historic Pauley Pavillion. Measuring 12 feet in diameter this section of court was the hub for College Basketball’s Greatest Dynasty for 17 seasons. Utilized in Pauley from its opening in 1965 until its replacement in May of 1982, it was ground zero for the most memorable events in UCLA basketball history, and the literal foundation of some of the greatest records in ever set in NCAA sports. These include:
· Nine of ten of UCLA's NCAA championship seasons under Coach John Wooden including seven consecutive (1966-73)
· A combined record of 148 wins to only 2 losses under Coach Wooden
· A stretch of 98 straight home victories for UCLA men's basketball
· John Wooden's last coaching appearance at home on March 1, 1975
· UCLA's first Women's national basketball championship in 1978
Since its replacement in 1982, the original Pauley Pavilion jump circle has been carefully preserved in storage. In 1998, it was brought out as the centerpiece for an event held in Pauley Pavilion, attended by Coach Wooden and dozens of former UCLA greats, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks and Walt Hazzard. Coach Wooden and each of the players in attendance signed the original jump circle, knowing that it would be later be sold at auction. The court includes a high quality custom wood stanchion that was designed and built to optimally display this court section at a cost of several thousand dollars. This auction represents a unique opportunity to become the custodian of one of the most important pieces college basketball history ever offered publicly. A large portion of the proceeds from the sale are dedicated to funding medical research. Includes a detailed letter of provenance and an additional LOA from PSA/DNA (autos.).