News Releases - Athletes in Action

Former Coaches Selected for Prestigious Coach Wooden ‘Keys to Life’ Award

Final Four Event to Honor Gary Cunningham and Paul Westphal

February 27, 2017

Most known for their basketball successes, former UCLA coach Gary Cunningham and former Phoenix Suns all-star and head coach Paul Westphal are being honored for another legacy—exemplifying outstanding leadership, character and integrity on and off the court. Cunningham and Westphal are the winners of the 2017 Coach Wooden "Keys to Life" Award.

Established in 1998, the award honors athletes who model the characteristics of UCLA men's basketball coaching legend John Wooden, including his high level of moral character, integrity and faith, on and off the court. Wooden's legacy reflects the lifelong pursuit of a creed his father gave him at age 12, entitled "Keys to Life" (below). Cunningham and Westphal join an elite group of basketball greats who have received the honor, including Jerry Colangelo, Del Harris, Mark Price, David Robinson, Lorenzo Romar and Cazzie Russell.

"Athletes in Action is pleased to present this prestigious award to two high quality men," said Mark Householder, president of Athletes in Action. "Both Cunningham and Westphal represent the character, integrity, faith and leadership that Coach Wooden emulated on a daily basis."

The 2017 Coach Wooden "Keys to Life" Award will be presented during the 21st annual Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast, hosted by Athletes in Action during NCAA Final Four weekend.

Saturday, April 1
8:30 – 10:30 a.m. PST

Phoenix Convention Center, West Ballroom
100 North 3rd St., Phoenix

The event is open to the media. Credentials may be obtained on-site or in advance. On-site media contact: Allison Vogel, 734.395.2417.

Honorary national chairmen of the Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast include Phoenix's Jerry Colangelo, managing director of USA Basketball; Mike Ingram, founder and chairman of El Dorado Holdings; and Dick Schultz, former executive director of the NCAA and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Registration information about the 2017 Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast is available at 800.416.9473 and

John Wooden's "Keys to Life"

  • Make each day your masterpiece
  • Help others
  • Be true to yourself
  • Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible
  • Make friendship a fine art
  • Build shelter against a rainy day
  • Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day

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