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Hardwood Glory: Sports Legend John Wooden and His Hoosier Roots at the Plymouth Public Library

February 2, 2015

Barbara MorrowJust in time for March Madness, Auburn author Barbara Olenyik Morrow will discuss her newly released book Hardwood Glory: A Life of John Wooden at Plymouth Public Library on Feb. 22. Her talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and will begin in the afternoon.

Hardwood Glory (Indiana Historical Society Press) examines the Hoosier roots of famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who was born in Martinsville, earned All-America honors playing guard at Purdue University, taught and coached at South Bend Central High School, and coached two years at Indiana State Teachers College in Terre Haute before heading to California in 1948. It was there, at UCLA, that he created a basketball dynasty and solidified his place as one of the sporting world’s greats.

Indiana University All-American and current UCLA coach Steve Alford wrote the book’s foreword.

Full of archival photos, Hardwood Glory is about basketball, Hoosier history, and more. Readers will learn how Wooden’s story (he died in 2010 just months shy of his one hundredth birthday) is inseparable from major events and social currents in the twentieth century, from the Great Depression to civil-rights struggles to campus unrest during the Vietnam War.

Barbara Morrow is the daughter-in-law of former library board member Shirley Morrow. A journalist and author, Barbara has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing and has written six books, most focusing on aspects of Indiana history. Her work includes Nature’s Storyteller, a young adult biography of the pioneering conservationist Gene Stratton-Porter; A Good Night for Freedom, a historical fiction children’s book set in the Underground Railroad home of Hoosier abolitionists Levi and Catharine Coffin; and From Ben-Hur to Sister Carrie, a collection of profiles on Hoosier writers ranging from Lew Wallace to Theodore Dreiser. She is also the author of the spirited read-aloud Mr. Mosquito Put on His Tuxedo.