About Bill Walton - Basketball Legend, Broadcaster, Humanitarian, and Survivor:
Basketball legend Bill Walton is one of sports’ most recognizable and beloved figures. His success on the court is well-documented; the nation’s top college basketball star at UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden, he then played for two NBA Championship teams - the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics. But Bill’s nightmarish challenges off the court are less known. He stuttered so badly he couldn’t say a simple “thank you” until he was 28 years old. And a foot disorder led to 37 surgeries on his feet, legs, and back - keeping him sidelined over half of his NBA career. Armed with grit and a positive outlook, Bill improbably overcame it all. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and named to the “50 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time” list. After his playing career, Bill pursued broadcasting; he is currently covering Pac-12 games on ESPN. Bill Walton has led a life of humility in service of inspiring others. His autobiography, Back from the Dead, was a New York Times best-seller and he is perhaps the best-known Deadhead, having seen over 900 shows.
As entertaining as he is insightful, Bill is widely considered one of the best speakers from the world of sports. The lessons he 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. Bill never forgot those words which helped him throughout his extraordinary career.
Following a celebrated college basketball career, Bill went on to have a Hall of Fame NBA career. After basketball, he pursued his dream job as a sports broadcaster - but first had to overcome the lifelong stuttering affliction. And then, in 2008, Bill endured risky back surgery to repair damage done early in his basketball career. Through it all, Bill’s determination and positive attitude carried him through.
Bill is an authentic and true original who personifies greatness - and is one of the most compassionate figures in sports with an extraordinary record of giving back through his work with numerous charities and non-profits.
Bill was the NBA's Most Valuable Player, 1978; All-NBA First Team, 1978; NBA All-Star Team, 1977 and 1978; NBA Playoff's MVP, 1977; All-NBA Second Team, 1977; winner of the NBA Sixth Man Award, 1986. Bill is one of only four players in the history of basketball to have won multiple NCAA and multiple NBA Championships. He is also the second of only five players in the history of the NBA to lead the league in both blocked shots and rebounding in the same season. In 1991, Bill received the NBPA’s Oscar Robertson Leadership Awards. In 1993, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1997, Bill was selected as one of the NBA’s Fifty Greatest Players of All Time. Also, in 1997 he was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Bill is active with many organizations and charities. For his efforts, in 2002 he received the NBA Retired Players Association Humanitarian Award. He is 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. Walton is also a board member for the Junior Seau Foundation. Bill is also involved in numerous Internet ventures, providing content and business acumen.
Bill Walton is author of Back from the Dead and Nothing but Net. He 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, Wilhelmina, and Wolfgang.
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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