About Bill Walton - NBA Legend and Motivational Speaker:
Bill Walton has a passion - for his work, for family & friends, for music, for life and for greatness! Bill brings his outsized passion to the stage and inspires audiences with tales from an improbable life in sport and beyond. Walton speaks about the secrets of world-class performance, personal and organizational excellence, and how he overcame nearly impossible odds – on the court and off – to persevere and win. As entertaining as he is insightful, Walton is widely considered one of the best speakers from the world of sports.
The lessons Bill learned on the basketball court became life lessons that served him well throughout his sports, broadcasting and business careers. No lesson was more important than the words from the legendary John Wooden, Bill’s basketball coach at UCLA, who simply said “Do your best.” Wooden never asked players to go out and win – simply to do their best and not beat themselves. Walton never forgot those words which helped him throughout his extraordinary career.
Following a celebrated college basketball career, Walton went on to have a Hall of Fame NBA career. After basketball, Walton pursued his dream job as a sports broadcaster – but first had to overcome the lifelong stuttering affliction. And then, in 2008, Walton endured risky back surgery for to repair damage done early in his basketball career. Through it all, Walton’s determination carried him through.
Bill Walton is an authentic and true original who personifies greatness and is one of the most compassionate figures in sport with an extraordinary record of giving back through his work with numerous charities and non-profits.
Walton is active with many organizations and charities. For his efforts, in 2002 he received the NBA Retired Players Association Humanitarian Award. His activities include his current role as the executive chairman of Connect SD Sport Innovators (SDSI), a non-profit, business-accelerating, trade organization that connects and drives the growth of Southern California's vibrant sports economy by offering innovative programs and services for startups, mature companies and service providers. SDSI offers mentoring, education and capital funding opportunities for start-ups; best practice collaboration, access to new technology, and public policy advocacy for mature companies; as well as deal flow to our service providers and the Southern California Investment Community. Walton is also a board member for the Junior Seau foundation.
Walton is also involved in numerous Internet ventures, providing content and business acumen. He is also the author of Back from the Dead (March, 2016) and Nothing But Net.
Walton currently resides in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori. They are the proud parents of four sons: Adam, Nathan, Luke and Chris, and the lucky grandparents of Olivia, Chase, Parker, Avery, Patrick, Lawson and Wilhelmina.
What Bill Walton Talks About:
Do Your Best
Three words drive Bill Walton’s philosophy of life – do your best. They were drawn from the legendary John Wooden, Bill’s basketball coach at UCLA, who never asked the players on his record-breaking teams to win – only to go out and do their best and not beat themselves. The lessons of Coach Wooden – about character, work ethic, teamwork, accountability, and pride for a job well done – stuck with Walton his whole life – on the court, in the broadcast booth and beyond. Bill Walton inspires people to do their best with incredible stories from an improbable and remarkable life.
Leadership Lessons from the Court
Bill Walton played for some of the greatest coaches in basketball – Red Auerbach, Jack Ramsay and the legendary John Wooden. Then, Walton’s broadcasting career allowed him the chance to see great championship performers and coaches in action. The consummate storyteller, Bill shares tales that are as insightful as they are entertaining – he provides an inside look at how world-class performance is really achieved on the basketball court. The leadership lessons are based on important principles that transfer off the court, too.
Tales of Healing and Recovery
Bill Walton is the most-injured player in NBA history. In his 14-year career he missed a total of 9 1/2 full seasons due to injury. In spite of that, he went on to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Imagine what influence he would have had on the game had he stayed healthy! Bill's feet, knees, and back - the foundation of his ability to perform as an athlete - let him down. 37 surgeries! His last surgery was his most serious -- to straighten a lifetime of abuse to his spine. Leading up to that surgery Bill spent three years on the floor of his home in agonizing pain – virtually unable to move. Bill speaks to health care audiences of all sorts and reminds them of the tremendous difference they make in the lives of patients, like him. Bill has also spoken to spinal patient groups to offer hope for the future. Bill's uplifting story of triumph against the odds is an inspiration to all. As Bill says about his life - "I am the luckiest guy on earth."
Bill is just wonderful! He is such a pleasure to work with. We loved him so much that we have booked him three years in a row!
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