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By leading UCLA to a third straight NCAA title, Bruins center Lew Alcindor ended his illustrious college career in storybook fashion. SI's Joe Jares described the introverted star from New York City who changed the face of college basketball.
SHARP observers of basketball figured out long ago that 7'1½" Lew Alcindor was going to be one of the great net-straighteners of all time. They were so right. For four years at UCLA, where the New Yorker toiled on a grant-in-aid under coach Johnny Wooden, one way or another Alcindor was always straightening out nets. When they were tangled, he stood flat-footed under the basket and, with that patented nonchalance of his, reached up to fix them. When they were empty, why, he filled them—with 56 points in his first varsity appearance three years and 90 games ago, and with more than 2,300 points in all. In between, he helped draw the biggest indoor basketball crowd in history, led the Bruins to 88 victories against two losses and, last Saturday afternoon in Louisville's Freedom Hall, was the man most responsible for UCLA's becoming the first team ever to win three national championships in a row.
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