Feb. 24, 2024

Celebrating a ‘Transformative Figure in Sports and Leadership’

USPS Dedicates Forever Stamp Honoring UCLA Coach John Wooden

John Wooden stamp

LOS ANGELES — John Wooden’s extraordinary and enduring contributions to college basketball and the athletic community worldwide were lauded during the Postal Service’s dedication ceremony for the new stamp in his honor at UCLA.

Wooden, often considered the greatest coach in the history of American sports, led the UCLA Bruins to a record-setting 10 national championships. His success on the court was unparalleled, and he is remembered for teaching his players how to achieve excellence not only on the court but also in life.

“John Wooden’s contributions transcended basketball, offering lessons in integrity, teamwork, and personal excellence that resonate across our nation,” said Derek Kan, a member of the USPS Board of Governors. “In dedicating this stamp, the United States Postal Service honors not just a legendary coach, but a transformative figure in sports and leadership.”

The event was held outdoors at the East Plaza of Pauley Pavilion, an arena located on the campus of UCLA.

Other speakers included basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played for Wooden’s Bruins during three consecutive championship seasons; Gene Block, chancellor of UCLA; Valorie Kondos Field, former head coach of the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team; and Christy Impelman, eldest granddaughter of coach Wooden.

Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes -- a three-time NBA All-Star who played for Wooden’s Bruins for two championship seasons – was master of ceremonies.

The ceremony also featured performances by the UCLA Quartet and the UCLA Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Wooden began his career at UCLA in 1948 and retired in 1975. He helped break the color barrier in collegiate basketball as a coach and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice: in 1960, as a player for Purdue University in the 1930s, and in 1973, as a coach.

The National Collegiate Athletics Association named him College Basketball Coach of the Year six times.

In 1964, he led UCLA to a perfect 30-0 season and its first national championship. The 1965 team won the national championship, too, becoming only the fifth ever to win two consecutive titles. The Bruins’ era as a dynasty had begun.

The Bruins would go on to win eight more national championships under Wooden’s leadership.

UCLA enjoyed four perfect seasons and, during the 1971 through 1974 seasons, the team won an unprecedented 88 consecutive games — a record that remains unbroken.

Wooden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2003 by President George W. Bush. He died in 2010 at the age of 99.

The stamp — which features original artwork by Alexis Franklin, based on a photograph by Norm Schindler from the early 1970s — is available at Post Office locations nationwide and usps.com.

The image shows a portrait of Wooden looking intently beyond the viewer. The numbers on the two players’ jerseys, 4 and 10, evoke the Bruins’ four perfect seasons and the 10 national championships during Wooden’s tenure.

Antonio Alcalá, an art director for USPS, served as designer and art director for the stamp.

The John Wooden stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp in panes of 20. These stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

News of the stamp is being shared on social media with the hashtag #JohnWoodenStamp.

Customers may also purchase other philatelic products and stamps by calling 844-737-7826 or by mail through USA Philatelic. For officially licensed stamp products, shop the USPS Officially Licensed Collection on Amazon.



Media contacts