What does it take to earn more NCAA titles than any other university? How is it possible that athletes from a single school could produce 250 Olympic medals, ranking us higher in medal count than most countries?

The same lofty goals and unflappable determination that permeate our academic spirit also propel UCLA's athletic dominance.

This enduring spirit is apparent in Jackie Robinson's refusal to be out when the Majors wouldn’t let him in. It was there when the nation was questioning women’s sports and Ann Meyers answered with the first full athletic scholarship awarded to a female. And if Bill Walton had considered the odds of having an undefeated season, he probably wouldn’t have had one. Twice. In a row.

It is an ethos that is embodied in the coaching of John Wooden. His "Pyramid of Success" taught us that winning really has nothing to do with the score and everything to do with the effort. He pushed us to strive for excellence in every facet of our lives. And gave us a set of principles that have become as iconic as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gail Goodrich and the many players it helped shape. It also led to four undefeated seasons and 10 national championships — more than any other coach in college basketball history.

UCLA's unique view toward athletics creates athletes that are more than just winners. They are invested in their academics. Involved in their community. And become versatile, engaged individuals who use their abilities to produce victories beyond the field of play. Perhaps that’s why champions don’t just play here. Champions are made here.

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