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.
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.