Nearly 70 Corona del Mar Intermediate School students were honored for their "good character" in a special ceremony Monday morning in the gymnasium.
And it didn't take long for Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry to quote the late John Wooden — in the heart of USC territory, no less — to the hundreds who showed up for the special event.
"Character is important, and coach John Wooden knew that," Curry told the seventh- and eighth-graders and their parents. "He knew that the character of his players were more important than the talent."
Wooden, who died last week at age 99, was a renowned college basketball coach for UCLA, winning 10 national championships as the "Wizard of Westwood."
The event was put on by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.
While Corona del Mar Intermediate's students haven't exactly reached the great coach's plateau, they're well on their way, as Principal Guy Olguin expounded on the students' great personalities and character in the classroom.