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Full Court Fever

The Story

The Falcons have lost the first two games of the season. They have the skill to win, but they have one big disadvantage — they're short! One of the kids discovers a 1965 Sports Illustrated article about the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins won two NCAA (college players) championships without any big guys. They outfoxed taller teams with something they called "The Full-Court Zone Press." Could that be the secret weapon to turn the Falcons around?

The History

In 1964 and 1965, the legendary coach John Wooden led his UCLA Bruins to NCAA championships with the full court zone press. When an opposing player got the ball, two Bruins ganged up on him. The press speeded up the game (a big advantage for the quick-moving Bruins) and forced the other team to make bad passes. In the following years, the Bruins didn't have to rely on the press. Wooden recruited some big guys, including Lew Alcindor — known today as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.