Kevin Love played one year of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins in the 2007-2008 season where he led the team to a final four appearance. He was a First Team All-American, Pac 10 player of the year, First Team All-Pac 10.
As a Freshman in UCLA in 2007-2008, Love often reached out to John Wooden for advice. John Wooden was the head coach at UCLA from 1948 – 1975. During his tenure, the Bruins won 620 games in 27 seasons and 10 NCAA titles during his last 12 seasons. During his freshman year Love said of Wooden, “I just turned 19 and I know my history. He’s not only the best coach of any coach of all time, but he’s also one of the best human beings you’ll ever meet.”
Drafted after his Freshman year in college, he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves where he was a three-time NBA All-Star and the Cleveland Cavaliers where he was part of the team that won the NBA Championship in 2016. And when he became an NBA player, Love remembered what he learned from Wooden, “Coach Wooden, when he speaks you listen. I’ve taken a lot of things from him… It’s not just about basketball, it’s about life as well.”
United States Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. summarized the importance of listening to history, and then applying it to the future when he said, “It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”
Those who want to have a positive impact on the future, must first seek to become wise about the past. In the story of Kevin Love and John Wooden, the result was learning the steps that Wooden took so that they could be repeated. In studying history, it is also just as likely that one may learn of the past mistakes to know what not to repeat.
I’ve heard it said this way, “Make sure you understand why the fence was put up before you take it down.” You may have equal chance to leave the fence up as you do in taking it down, but your decision will be made based on knowledge of the history of the reason for its placement in the first place.