Laguna Niguel, Calif. (March 16, 2011) -- One of the most important pieces of basketball history ever offered at public auction, the original (1965-82) UCLA Pauley Pavilion center court section (jump circle), will be part of an internet auction presented by SCP Auctions, it was announced. Bidding will be open to registered bidders on www.scpauctions.com 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.
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 and Pete Maravich, and coaches such as Wooden, 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.
The original jump circle offered by SCP Auctions remained in Pauley from its opening in 1965 until its replacement in May 1982. During those 17 seasons, the most memorable events in UCLA basketball history, and some of the greatest records in NCAA sports were set. These include:
- - Eight of ten of UCLA's NCAA championship seasons under Coach John Wooden including seven consecutive (1966-73)
- - A combined record of 148-2 under Wooden
- - A stretch of 98 consecutives home victories for UCLA men's basketball
- - Wooden's last coaching appearance at home on March 1, 1975
- - UCLA's first women's national basketball championship in 1978
SCP Auctions, Inc., has been a leader in auctions and private sales of important sports memorabilia and cards since 1979. The Southern California-based firm has handled some of the most significant individual items and prominent collections in their field, such as 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), and the private collections of Hall of Famers such as Honus Wagner, Tony Lazzeri, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Casey Stengel, Pee Wee Reese, and Ernie Banks. For more information, visit www.scpauctions.com or call (800) 350-2273.