Bill Walton heads back to school for Pac-12 campus speaking tour

By Pac-12 Enterprises PR staff

Pac-12 and NBA Legend's Return to Broadcasting with Pac-12 Networks & ESPN Highlighted with Epic Road Trip to Nine Pac-12 Campuses, Coaching Up Students on Life and Basketball

SAN FRANCISCO & BRISTOL, Conn., January 8, 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 up 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. 

Bill Walton's Pac-12 Campus Tour Schedule

Date University
Friday, Jan. 11 University of Oregon
Friday, Jan. 11 Oregon State University
Wednesday, Jan. 16 University of Southern California
Thursday, Jan. 17 UCLA
Tuesday, Feb. 5 Arizona State University
Wednesday, Feb. 6 University of Arizona
Wednesday, Feb. 13 University of Washington
Wednesday, Feb. 27 Stanford University
Wednesday, March 6 University of California-Berkeley

Bill Walton's Pac-12 Men's Basketball Telecast Schedule

Date Matchup Network
Thursday, Jan. 10 Arizona @Oregon ESPN2
Thursday, Jan. 17 Oregon State @ UCLA ESPNU
Wednesday, Feb. 6 Stanford @ Arizona ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 13 Oregon @ Washington ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 27 Colorado @ Stanford ESPN2
Wednesday, March 6 Stanford @ Cal ESPN2
Wednesday, March 13 - Friday, March 15 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament (four games) Pac-12 Networks

About Pac-12 Networks
Launched August 15, 2012, the Pac-12 Networks are full-time native HD linear networks available to video programming operators, dedicated solely to the Pac-12. It will consist of a national network and six regional feeds that will televise hundreds of live sporting events annually and provide 24/7 access to Pac-12 teams and universities. In addition to the hundreds of live televised Pac-12 sporting events, Pac-12 Networks subscribers will have access to their carrier's TV Everywhere platform, providing access to all Pac-12 Networks programming on any device through their broadband service. Fans can find out if they can get Pac-12 Networks by visiting Pac-12.com or by contacting their television provider. Pac-12 Digital encompasses the digital network, mobile, the university websites, social media and innovative digital initiatives across the company.

About ESPN
ESPN, Inc., is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of eight 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN 3D and the regionally focused Longhorn Network) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (48 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), ESPN.com (plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites), ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises and espnW.  Multi-screen offerings include WatchESPN (access to several ESPN networks online and via an app), ESPN3 (live multi-screen network available online, on the go and via Xbox LIVE) and ESPN Mobile (mobile Web, mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging).  Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

Media Contact:

Kirk Reynolds, Pac-12 Networks, 415-580-4341, kreynolds@pac-12.org
Brenna Webb, Pac-12 Networks, 415-580-4370, bwebb@pac-12.org
Keri Potts, ESPN, 860-766-4483, keri.a.potts@espn.com

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