SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. & BRISTOL, Conn., January 9, 2013 – Pac-12 Networks, the linear television home of the Pac-12 Conference and ESPN team up to welcome Hall of Famer and UCLA legend Bill Walton back to the broadcasting chair with a nine-school road trip and speaking tour across the Pac-12 Conference starting Friday, January 11.
With an array of experiences gained over a 13-year NBA career followed by decades of success and struggles both personally and professionally, Walton looks to share his story and belief in the college experience with students at campuses around the Conference. From his success on the court and relationship with John Wooden to overcoming a speech impediment, thoughts of suicide and current life as an entrepreneur and broadcaster, no topic is off-limits when the Hall of Famer speaks to each student audience.
“After a lifetime of incredible experiences and opportunities that most often generate reactions of ‘wow, I didn’t know that! How can that be? Are you kidding me?’ I am proud, privileged and honored to now re-join the Pac-12 Basketball universe,” said Walton. “Over so many years, I've chased my dreams to UCLA, then on to the NBA for 14 years, and have followed that up with a wide-range and varied business and media career ever since. The wild roller coaster ride of remarkable highs and lows, successes and failures, hope and disappointment has now brought me back to where I belong —to the beginning, where lives are built—college.”
Bill Walton’s Pac-12 Campus Tour includes a branded tour bus that will travel more than 3500 miles to nine Pac-12 schools over 10 weeks. The bus begins rolling Friday, January 11 with its first stop at the University of Oregon before heading down Interstate 5 to Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. Subsequent trips to USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and Washington follow before the journey wraps up in the Bay Area with stops at Stanford February 27, and Cal on March 6.
“I am coming to nine Pac-12 schools by bus to share the dream, to spread the love, and to provide the help on the way that we are all sure to need,” Walton continues. “There are no rules or limits, other than to be on time and to come with an open mind and a caring soul.”
Walton, who earned Naismith College Player of the Year and was a three-time NCAA First Team All-American under head coach John Wooden at UCLA, makes his return to broadcasting this season, covering college basketball as an analyst for Pac-12 Networks and ESPN following a two-year hiatus. Walton’s stops at Oregon, UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Stanford and Cal will coincide with his broadcast duties with ESPN, calling a game during his visit. He made his Pac-12 Network debut earlier last Saturday for UCLA’s win over Stanford and will return to the network in March, calling four of Pac-12 Networks’ eight conference tournament games from Las Vegas. Previously, Walton spent 21 years providing commentary on the NBA, NCAA Final Four and Olympics basketball games for a variety of networks including ABC/ESPN, NBC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC and Turner Sports.
The full tour schedule can be found below. Throughout the trip, Pac-12.com will publish additional behind-the-scenes moments and exclusive photos, video and blog posts chronicling the entire journey. Fans and students can also join the ride on Twitter by tweeting their thoughts and photos with the hashtag #WaltononWheels. Select tweets will be aggregated on Pac-12.com throughout the journey.
Friday, January 11 - University of Oregon
Friday, January 11 - Oregon State University
Wednesday, January 16 - University of Southern California
Thursday, January 17 - UCLA
Tuesday, February 5 - Arizona State University
Wednesday, February 6 - University of Arizona
Wednesday, February 13 - University of Washington
Wednesday, February 27 - Stanford University
Wednesday, March 6 - University of California-Berkeley