Condolences on Bill Walton’s passing

On behalf of the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame, we offer condolences to the family and friends of Bill Walton on the NBA legend’s passing Monday at the age of 71.
Walton had been scheduled to appear at our 20th induction dinner on April 13, but on March 12, we received a call from The Washington Speakers Bureau that he was forced to cancel due to health issues.

When Walton’s local appearance was announced in October of 2023, he said: “I’m thrilled, privileged and honored beyond description to be the featured guest speaker at the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame in April. The celebration of the wonders of life, plus the values and power of sport and the people who play them will be on full display.
“I get to follow in the giant footprints and shadows of so many of my heroes, mentors, role models and friends,” naming previous HOF speakers Terry Bradshaw, Joe Theismann, Mary Lou Retton, Greg Gumbel, Doug Flutie and Roy Firestone. “What more could anybody ask for?”

Walton centered his speeches around the theme of gratitude and often said, “I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
Julius Erving wound up replacing Walton on the HOF dais.

Dr. J called Walton a good friend that night, and on Monday, after learning of his passing, Erving posted on Twitter: “I am sad today hearing that my comrade & one of the sports world’s most beloved champions & characters has passed. Bill Walton enjoyed life in every way. To compete against him & work with him was a blessing in my life. Sorry for your loss, Walton family. We’ll miss him, too.”