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Robert Edward Auctions

Original Pauley Pavilion Jump Circle Offered

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tipped off his college career there.  Bill Walton, too. It was the ground zero of greatness for one of sports’ greatest dynasties.    Now, the original UCLA Pauley Pavilion Center Court Section, or jump circle, is being offered to the highest bidder.

SCP Auctions will offer the court as a special item in its upcoming auction that also features the Red Auerbach collection.

Minimum bid is $25,000.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the center court, which has been autographed by some of those who made it famous, will go to medical research according to the consignor, who according to media reports in Los Angeles, is a UCLA alumnus.

Measuring 12 feet in diameter, the round section of the Pauley Pavilion court was literally at the center of Bruin dominance during the John Wooden era and beyond.  It was the home of nine NCAA Men’s National Championship teams and UCLA’s first Women’s NCAA National Championship team in 1978.

UCLA’s athletic director said Wednesday that the school is hoping to work out an arrangement with the winning bidder to put the court on display.

Pauley Pavilion saw its first basketball game played on November 27, 1965. The scrimmage saw the Bruin varsity team, led by guard Mike Warren, lose to an amazing freshman squad featuring (then) Lew Alcindor, who came to UCLA in large part due to the construction of a new arena.

Nothing enhanced Pauley’s reputation as perhaps the nation’s most famous collegiate sporting facility more than the tenure of legendary coach John Wooden. “The Wizard of Westwood”built an incomparable basketball dynasty at UCLA against which all others are compared, and usually pale.

His teams at U.C.L.A. won 10 national championships (nine on this original court) in a 12-season stretch from 1964 to 1975. From 1971 to 1974, U.C.L.A. won 88 consecutive games, still the N.C.A.A. 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 inches. Three of his other championship teams were anchored by Abdul-Jabbar. 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 of 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:

  • Nine of ten of UCLA’s NCAA championship seasons under Coach John Wooden including seven consecutive (1966-73)
  • A combined record of 148 wins to only 2 losses under Coach Wooden
  • A stretch of 98 straight home victories for UCLA men’s basketball
  • John Wooden’s last coaching appearance at home on March 1, 1975
  • UCLA’s first Women’s national basketball championship in 1978

Since its replacement in 1982, the original Pauley Pavilion jump circle has been preserved in storage. In 1998, it was brought out as the centerpiece for an event held in Pauley Pavilion, attended by Coach Wooden and dozens of former UCLA greats, including Abdul-Jabbar, Walton, Sidney Wicks and Walt Hazzard.  Wooden and each of the players in attendance signed the original jump circle, knowing that it would be later be sold at auction.

The auction for the Pauley Pavilion center court section will close April 30.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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