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Bill Walton on Farming, the Dead and Life



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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.


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Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

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

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Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email