UCLA Bruins Legend, Bill Walton, Dies At 71

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

You could go down the list and it would be tough to find a more iconic member of the UCLA Bruins than Bill Walton. His larger-than-life personality and unparalleled skill on the basketball court thrust him into Los Angeles stardom.

It was announced on Monday morning by the NBA that the two-time NCAA champion, two-time NBA champion, and Hall of Famer (NBA and NCAA) died of cancer at the age of 71.

Bill Walton Passes Away At 71

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led to an NBA regular-season and Finals MVP, two NBA championships and a spot on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

“Bill then translated his infectious enthusiasm and love for the game to broadcasting, where he delivered insightful and colorful commentary which entertained generations of basketball fans. But what I will remember most about him was his zest for life. He was a regular presence at league events — always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and looking to share his wisdom and warmth. I treasured our close friendship, envied his boundless energy and admired the time he took with every person he encountered.”

The accolades for Bill Walton as a UCLA Bruin are astonishing. He is a two-time NCAA champion, two-time Final Four most outstanding player, three-time national college player of the year, three-time consensus first-team All-American, James E. Sullivan Award-winner, and his number 32 is retired by the UCLA Bruins.

During his time with UCLA, Walton averaged 20.3 points per game and 15.7 rebounds per game.

Rest in peace, Bill Walton. You will FOREVER be a UCLA Bruin.