Through the mail autograph requests have apparently picked up again for John Wooden and his family is begging you to stop.
He was always accommodating, but recent health issues and a nagging case of arthritis have made it tough for America's basketball coach to keep signing.
John Wooden led UCLA to his final championship in 1975. Amazingly, 34 years later, he's still with us--with a sound mind and a love of basketball that won't quit. Those free TTM autographs he signed just about every day since were a godsend to collectors and fans of the Indiana native. All good things must come to an end, though.
Just a few weeks after asking fans to stop sending autograph requests to his apartment, Wooden's family is making a new plea for the mail to cease. Apparently, the deluge did slow down for awhile, but now that the coach is out of the hospital, things have picked back up, with new letters arriving daily.
It's not certain whether fans didn't get the message or if they figured he was back on the road to recovery and signing again, but his daughter says enough is enough.
Nan Muehlhausen and Jim Wooden, Coach Wooden's daughter and son, said it is painful for him to sign autographs because of arthritis in his right hand, and that the 98 year-old icon has difficulty holding items in his left hand, which he broke in a fall last year near his home.
``We hope everyone understands and respects our request,'' Muehlhausen said. ``It is painful for Dad to sign items and he needs to continue to rest and regain his strength after his stay in the hospital.''
Wooden was released from the hospital on March 10 after a bout with pneumonia.
Muehlhausen said items that have already been mailed or shipped will be returned to the post office or shipping service to be returned to sender, unsigned.
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