NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton Shares Thoughts on Perseverance With Attendees at the 18th Annual ASC Conference

At the 18th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 27, Bill Walton, a former ABC, ESPN and NBC basketball announcer and inductee of the NBA Hall of Fame shared his thoughts on perseverance in a presentation titled, "Climbing Up the Mountain – One More Time."

Mr. Walton discussed growing up in California, commenting, "My parents are the most unathletic people you've ever seen," he said. Despite that, he prospered as an athlete and, in 1967, he was recruited by a number of coaches for college programs. During that year, he met legendary coach John Wooden. Mr. Walton said he was attracted to Wooden's different approach to recruitment: He didn't promise his family anything. Instead, he told Bill, "in life there are not guarantees and all we're going to give you is a chance."

He recognized Wooden for giving him a foundation, which he said is "what all of us need more than anything else." Mr. Walton then shared Wooden's pyramid of success, which provides 15 personal attributes — ranging from loyalty, poise and competitive greatness — needed to build a person's foundation. Mr. Walton encouraged the audience to consider the principles in how they live their lives, and pointed to one of Wooden's maxims, "Basketball is just like life. It's not a game of size and strength, it's a game of skill, timing and positioning."

After college basketball and later the NBA, Mr. Walton wanted to begin a career in television. However, it wasn't an easy task. Instead of giving up, he persevered. "Persistence, perseverance and discipline," led him to catching his first break, which turned into a successful broadcasting career. "Chase your dream. Climb that mountain," Mr. Walton told the audience.

Mr. Walton closed by again emphasizing the importance of a foundation. "You never know how the game of life is going to play out, so you have to have that foundation," he said.


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