A WESTERN WORLD
OF SPORTS AND LEISURE
Chapter 33

Leisure activities continue to attract widespread public support in California. Its agreeable outdoor climate encourages a variety of sports during both winter and summer. These range from amateur to professional team enterprises. All provide attractive alternative entertainment for fans as well as enrichment for corporate sponsors and “superstar” athletes. Drawing not only from local high school and community athletic programs, California’s colleges and universities attract student athletes from across the nation, even the world.

The premier NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) sport continues to be football, with Pasadena’s post-season Rose Bowl one of College Football’s top events. “Big-time” football schools include the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California at Berkeley (Cal), UCLA, and Stanford. Players from these teams have won seven Heisman trophies, the award given to the outstanding college football player of the year.

No history of collegiate basketball can omit mention of the legendary Coach John Wooden, whose UCLA Bruins won ten NCAA championships between 1964 and 1975. NCAA champion basketball teams also hailed from Stanford, the University of San Francisco, and Cal Berkeley. Other collegiate sports continue to flourish. California universities have claimed national championships in track and field, baseball, golf, tennis, and swimming. Many of their athletes have competed in the Olympic Games and pursued sportsorientated careers.

In the nineteenth century, professional sports in California began with boxing and horse racing. Enthusiasts of thoroughbred horse racing can still view the “Sport of Kings” at a number of fine racetracks in the state, includ-

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