What Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ace Clayton Kershaw Learned from John Wooden

By Rodney Coe
Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw
Jake Roth-US Presswire

There are few young men as gifted and talented as Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ace, Clayton Kershaw. In Major League Baseball, having a pitcher on your staff who won a Cy Young award in 2011 and finished as runner-up in 2012 is remarkable.

Kershaw, a two-time All-Star, won 21 games in 2011, finishing with a 2.28 ERA, 248 strikeouts, a .977 WHIP and a Gold Glove. At 23, this young man had risen to the top of baseball. 2012 made him a year older, and brought 14 wins, a 2.53 ERA, and almost identical strikeouts and WHIP. What more does he need to learn?

In his book Arise, Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, open up about their lives and passion for service. The book, as well as their story, is inspirational, and every young person should read it. In chapter 26, Kershaw tells of a dinner he had with Coach John Wooden, the highly respected and admired basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins, who won 10 NCAA Championships in 12 years.

Coach Wooden was 97 when someone asked, “What is the most important part of life?” Kershaw leaned in to hear the coach give the answer. Wooden said, “Faith.” That was a significant moment in Kershaw’s life. He explained that the answer the legendary coach gave helped him realize that he needed to live a “faith-centered life.”

Kershaw has been a solid superstar for the Dodgers. His pitching is putting the Dodgers at the top of the National League. But the life lesson Coach Wooden taught Kershaw that night will always be a major part of Kershaw’s life.

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