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Bill Walton through the years: From high school to the NBA and beyond, a timeline of his storied career

Here's a look back at Bill Walton's life and legacy from high school through his broadcasting career

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The basketball world lost a legend on Monday when Bill Walton died of cancer at age 71.

Walton was a star player in high school, college and the NBA before becoming a beloved broadcaster.

Where did Walton grow up? What did his college and pro careers look like? And how did he fare at each level?

Here's a timeline of Walton's life as a player and broadcaster:

Where did Bill Walton live?

Walton was born and raised in La Mesa, California -- a city located just nine miles east of downtown San Diego. He died at his home in San Diego due to colon cancer on May 27, 2024.

Where did Bill Walton go to high school?

From 1966 to 1970, Walton attended Helix High School in La Mesa.

Did Bill Walton ever win a state championship in high school?

Walton led Helix to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championship in 1969 and 1970, finishing 29-2 in 1968-69 and 33-0 in 1969-70. In his senior year, Walton averaged 29 points and 25 rebounds per game during Helix's perfect season.

Walton was known for being an avid supporter of all the city has to offer and an advocate for social and political change. NBC 7's Dana Williams shows us one of the places he may have loved the most and how people there are honoring his life.

Where did Bill Walton go to college?

After graduating from Helix in 1970, Walton fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing for John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins.

Freshmen were not allowed to play on the varsity team, but Walton led UCLA's freshman team to a perfect 20-0 season in 1970-71. He was immediately a starter on the varsity team during his sophomore season, when the Bruins went 30-0 to win their sixth consecutive championship. UCLA was a perfect 30-0 again in 1972-73 before going 26-4 and losing in the Final Four during Walton's senior season.

From the middle of his junior year of high school through the middle of his senior year of college, Walton's teams won a ridiculous 142 consecutive games.

What teams did Bill Walton play for?

In the NBA, Walton played for three teams.

The Portland Trail Blazers drafted him No. 1 overall in 1974 and he remained with the club through 1979. Walton signed with his hometown San Diego Clippers in 1979, where he remained through 1985. The franchise relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. For the final chapter of his NBA career, Walton played two seasons with the Boston Celtics before injuries finally forced him to play his final games in 1987.

How many NBA championships did Bill Walton win?

Walton won two NBA championships in his career.

The first came in 1977, when he was the centerpiece for the Blazers. He averaged 18.2 points, 15.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.4 blocks per game during Portland's playoff run, which culminated in Walton winning NBA Finals MVP.

Years of injuries cost Walton numerous other chances at more titles, but he found his role with the Celtics to get his second championship in 1986. He won Sixth Man of the Year as a backup big behind Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. In the postseason, Walton played 16 of 18 games and averaged 7.9 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Is Bill Walton in the Hall of Fame?

Yes, Walton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 1993) and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 2006).

Who was Bill Walton's broadcast partner?

Over his years as a broadcaster, Walton had dozens of play-by-play partners.

Dave Pasch and Ralph Lawler are two of the more notable men to be paired with Walton. Pasch called collegiate games with Walton from 2013 to 2024, while Lawler worked with him locally for the Clippers.

Walton was the color commentator for the NBA Finals from 1995 to 1997, working with Marv Albert and Matt Guokas for NBC. Albert and Walton teamed up again to call the 2002 Finals before Walton joined ABC/ESPN, where he partnered with Brad Nessler to call the 2003 Finals.

Walton won numerous awards for his broadcasting, including the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association's award for "Best Television Analyst/Commentator" seven times, an Emmy Award for "Best Live Sports Television Broadcast" in 2001 and the CoSIDA Dick Enberg Award in 2018.

Bill Walton's best friend and former broadcast partner Ralph Lawler spoke with NBC 7's Todd Strain about Walton's life and legacy.
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