Bill Walton’s name is synonymous with basketball. Greatness. Grateful Dead. But farming? He recently appeared as the keynote speaker at the Fresno County Farm Bureau’s centennial celebration held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

So, what’s his connection? “I eat…all the time.” Fair enough, after all he stands 6′ 11″. “I love community, I love team, I love progress, I love development and I love all the things and elements that go into that,” Walton said, complementing the farm community.

Walton’s address lasted about an hour, covering everything from growing up in San Diego, playing for John Wooden at UCLA, winning an NBA championship with Portland and Boston and countless anecdotes along the way. Whatever Walton’s speaking fee may have been, he surely earned it. Hours before the speech, he spent time with the media and signed autographs for VIP. After he finished, he stayed until every last fan had an opportunity to say hi and get Walton’s autobiography signed.

Before the festivities, Walton sat down with GV Wire. He talked about his Central Valley roots (his wife is from Tracy and father is from Taft), what his thoughts are on the Berkeley riots and the state of activism among athletes today.

And yes, Walton is still an ardent admirer of the Grateful Dead. Perhaps, he remains the tallest Dead fan. He plans to watch them as they tour again (didn’t they retire?) on the West Coast this summer.

Watch the video above.

 

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

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About The Author

David is a familiar name in Fresno journalism, working as a producer, writer and assignment editor for various radio and TV stations. He has covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, UFC, Fresno State and many political campaigns. E-mail: dtaub@gvwire.com David earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Political Science from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Michelle have their hands full at home with three little ones. Originally from the Bay Area, David is a diehard Giants fan.

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