The last time I saw and heard Coach Wooden was in 2008, I want to say it was the Cal game and the they were saluting the 1968 UCLA team that won the title at halftime. Coach would always say a few words at these events and you would look forward to hearing him.
This time, after Coach talked about that team and those players, he addressed the hushed Pauley Pavilion crowd and gave his support to the current team and especially Coach Howland, of whom, he always gave nothing but praise in the times he was asked about him.
The other time I recall seeing him in a more intimate setting, I believe it was the year before, at a screening of the HBO film on UCLA and Coach Wooden. Fittingly it was at the Mann Bruin theater and not only was Coach Wooden there, several former players, including Bill Walton, showed up to give support.
After the screening, a few of them spoke and then the microphone was given to Coach, he tried to say something but he couldn't finish, too choked up with emotion, especially because the film highlighted his marriage and relationship with his beloved Nell.
Was the man perfect, no, but he did lead an exemplary life and in the end was revered as he should have been.
Happy Birthday Coach, those of us who had the honor to meet you, will always be in your debt.