You Can Bid for the Center Court of UCLA Pauley Pavilion!

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This is a very rare opportunity indeed. The chance to bid on an important piece of college basketball history; a public auction for the original (1965-82) UCLA Pauley Pavilion center court section (jump circle). Bidding will be open to registered bidders on SCP Auctions on Friday, April 15 and conclude on Saturday, April 30.

Measuring 12 feet in diameter, this original round section of the Pauley Pavilion court was ground zero for one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports for 17 seasons. Home to UCLA athletic teams since 1965, the original court was the home of eight NCAA men’s national championship teams and the Bruins’ first women’s NCAA national championship team in 1978.

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(As you can see from the pic above- this piece of hardwood has had some “brushes with greatness”)

Since its replacement in 1982, the original Pauley Pavilion jump circle has been carefully preserved in storage. In 1998, it was displayed as the centerpiece for an event held in Pauley Pavilion, attended by the legendary coach John Wooden and dozens of former UCLA greats, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks and Walt Hazzard. Wooden and each of the players in attendance signed the original jump circle, knowing it would later be sold at auction by a UCLA alum that chooses to remain anonymous. A large portion of the proceeds from the sale will be dedicated to funding medical research.

The first basketball game played at Pauley Pavilion was Nov. 27, 1965. In the scrimmage, the Bruins’ varsity team, led by guard Mike Warren, lost to an amazing freshman squad featuring Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), who came to UCLA in large part due to the construction of a new arena.

In the decades that followed, some of the top names in the history of college basketball, including Walton, Wicks, Marques Johnson, Ann Meyers, Denise Curry, Tyus Edney, Ed O’Bannon, Kevin Love, Reggie Miller, Don MacLean (not the “American Pie” singer) and Pete Maravich, and coaches such as Wooden, Steve Lavin, Ben Howland, Dean Smith and Denny Crum, graced the court at Pauley.

Nothing enhanced Pauley’s reputation as arguably the nation’s most famous collegiate sporting venue more than the tenure of 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 UCLA teams won 10 national championships in a 12-season stretch from 1964 to 1975. This court was home to 8 of those 10 UCLA titles under Coach Wooden including 7 consecutive (1966-73).

From 1971-74, UCLA won 88 consecutive games, still the NCAA men’s 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. Three of his other championship teams were anchored by Alcindor, the 7-foot-2 center. Two others were led by Walton, a three-time national player of the year.

And of course, this chapter in history ended with John Wooden’s grandson scoring the last basket in Pauley Pavilion history last week. It’s hard to find a story with great coincidence and poetic symmetry than that!

SCP Auctions, Inc., has auctioned off important sports memorabilia before: the record-setting sale of the T206 Honus Wagner card graded PSA 8 (sold for $2.8 million), Babe Ruth’s bat used to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium (sold for $1.265 million), The original 1919 Contract of Sale of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees (sold for $996,000)

Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports

He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

 

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  1. cosmkdbree says

    I am SOOOOO glad that Maryland decided to frame the Cole Field House center court in it’s new arena. Cole was the best place ever to see a game.

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