10 Minutes With… BILL WALTON
San Diego native, Helix High grad, and NBA Hall of Famer
Bill Walton, 58, is the executive chairman of the board of SD Sport Innovators (SDSI), a nonprofit trade organization that assists both startups and mature companies. He is also the first volunteer in the United Way of San Diego County’s campaign to sign up 10,000 volunteers to tutor and mentor local youth.
On the United Way and why. “In my life, I’ve been touched by the commitment, compassion, and sacrifices of my parents, coaches, teachers, and my heroes. I’m a big supporter of the United Way. … It’s a perfect chance to make a big difference. I always ask, If not here, where? If not now, when? If not me, who?”
On growing up cultured. “My mom was a San Diego city librarian for 21 years. She’s the queen of story time. We grew up in a household filled with classical music, books, and education. And now to see these young children who want a chance to play in the game of life … it’s all of our jobs to make sure that happens for the next generation.”
On watching son Luke play for the L.A. Lakers. “I’m the proudest and luckiest dad in the world. It’s such a big honor for our family that he’s playing for the Lakers. For Luke to be a San Diego native, playing for what is essentially his hometown team … it’s great.”
On SDSU basketball. “They played a beautiful style of basketball. Coach [Steve] Fisher taught team spirit and unity. I’m so hopeful for them and I look forward to their continued growth.”
On America’s Finest City. “For me, it’s the people and the spirit. Everything is here: spectacular nature, diversity, the economy, and social strengths of our community. San Diego is the greatest place in the world.”