Basketball star Bill Walton, he’s a fighter too

Time flies when you're having fun. It only seems like yesterday when Bill Walton was living right here in La Mesa and a San Diego, California boy.

Time flies when you’re having fun. It only seems like yesterday when Bill Walton was growing up, right here in La Mesa, San Diego, California.

Tomorrow night, Monday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m., Warwick’s Books and Words Alive are presenting Bill Walton, the award-winning broadcaster, former NBA MVP and Hall of Fame basketball player at The Sherwood Auditorium, 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla. He’ll be there to discuss and sign his new book: Back From the Dead. The price of admission, $29.16, includes a copy of the book. If you’re bringing someone with you, then it’s two admissions and one copy of the book for $39.16. You can purchase your tickets on line at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bill-walton-back-from-the-dead-tickets-22136419627.


 

Walton’s inspiring memoir recounts his ups and downs, his devastating injuries and amazing recoveries, set in the context of his UCLA triumphs under Coach John Wooden, his storied NBA career, and his affinity for music which included the Grateful Dead.bill 1Bill 2bill playing basketblaaBill #4Bill w wife recent

One day you're a wild a crazy kid and the next day your writing a book about your life and reminiscing with old friends about the past.

One day you’re a wild and crazy kid, the next day you’re writing a book about the past and reminiscing about the good times with old friends.

In February 2008, Walton suffered a catastrophic spinal collapse the culmination of a lifetime of injuries that left him unable to move. He spent three years lying on the floor of his home, eating his meals there and crawling to the bathroom, where he could barely hoist himself up onto the toilet seat. The excruciating pain and slow recovery tested Walton to the fullest. But with extraordinary patience, fortitude, determination, and sacrifice plus pioneering surgery, the giant of a man recovered, and now shares his life story in this remarkable and unique memoir.

Many of us remember Bill Walton from his days at Helix High School in La Mesa. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he grew up here in San Diego and was deeply influenced by the political and cultural upheavals of that period. Although he strongly identified with the cool people, particularly in music and politics, his greatest role model outside of his family was super-straight UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, a thoughtful, rigorous mentor who seemed immune to the turmoil of the times. Although there was some tension and conflict at times, the two men would talk nearly every day for forty-three years, until Wooden’s death at age ninety-nine.

After his playing days ended and despite dealing with a lifelong affliction of stuttering, Walton chose a career in broadcasting. He eventually won an Emmy Award and other accolades for broadcasting and was recognized as a leading media pundit.

John Wooden once said, “No greatness ever came without sacrifice.” Nothing better illustrates this inspirational message than the real story of Walton’s life. In his own words, Back from the Dead shares this dramatic tale, to include his basketball and broadcasting careers, his many setbacks and rebounds, and his ultimate triumph as one of the toughest of champions.

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.