American sportscaster and former NBA player Bill Walton greatly admired his older brother, Bruce, and remembers him well even after his passing. The former Dallas Cowboys player breathed his last in 2019.
Born and raised by parents with no athletic background, Bill gravitated towards sports only because of his older brother’s influence. The brothers grew up playing basketball and football as kids around La Mesa, California.
Besides, they had two other younger siblings, namely Cathy and Andy.
Bill Walton attended Helix High School in La Mesa, where he played football and basketball for their team. Following graduation, he joined UCLA and played for four seasons until his graduation in 1974.
While at UCLA Bruins, he won the NCAA championship twice, consecutively in 1972 and 1973, and was enlisted among the Final Four MVPs both times.
Bill created history at Bruins, leading his team in an 88-game winning streak and becoming the national player for the year, continuously for three years.
The first overall pick of the 1974 NBA draft later won two NBA champions in his professional career. After playing ten league seasons, he eventually announced his retirement in 1988, winning numerous accolades and awards.
After retiring, Walton started his media career, joining CBS in 1990. The Emmy Award-winning sportscaster covers Pac-12 games for the Pac-12 Network and ESPN.
Bill Walton Brother: Bruce Walton
Bill Walton’s brother, Bruce, was born to Ted and Gloria Walton on June 14, 1951, in San Diego, California.
Even though not as successful as his younger brother, Bruce was also a professional athlete and briefly played as an offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.
Despite being born to parents with no interest in athletics, Bruce enjoyed sports and began playing at a young age. Learning the same, his younger siblings followed in his footsteps and played games in their youth.
Their only sister, Cathy, was a basketball forward at UC Berkeley. Similarly, the youngest, Andy, played basketball during high school.
The alumnus of Helix High, Bruce attended UCLA and played college football until 1973. He began his professional career later that year after Dallas chose him in the fifth round of the 1973 draft.
In 1975, Walton played in Super Bowl X against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which they lost by 21-17. His younger brother, Bill, won the NBA ring with Portland Trail Blazers a year later.
Bruce and Bill are the only brothers to play in the Super Bowl and the NBA finals.
Sadly, his recurring knee injury forced him into early retirement in 1976. Following this, he started his career as a radio executive, starting a radio station KIFM in the San Diego area.
Besides, Walton was involved in several civic groups and organizations throughout his life, including the Competitor Group and the Holiday Bowl.
Bruce Walton’s Death
The former NFL player and outstanding human being Bruce Walton died on October 18, 2019, at 68.
About two years earlier, in 2017, Bruce began to show signs of severe illness. The medical reports later suggested he had the flu, resulting in pneumonia. In his later days, he was also suffering from meningitis and kidney failure.
Although he showed some signs of recovery around May 2019, his doctors later put him into a medically induced coma following repetitive seizures.
Following his death, his younger brother Bill remarked, “Bruce was the family patriarch since our father died in 2004.”
He further added, “We had great parents. Bruce was the perfect extension. Bruce was hugely responsible for our family’s good fortune. He was a powerful, unifying force in all our lives.”