The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl announced today that hall of fame basketball player Bill Walton, will serve as Honorary Chairman of the 33rd annual Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. Walton also was named Grand Marshal of the bowl game’s parade, the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by the San Diego County Credit Union.
Walton achieved superstardom playing for the UCLA Bruins in the early '70s, winning three straight College Player of the Year Awards. He then went on to have a prominent career in the NBA. He was the number one overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. In 1977 he won his first championship. Nine years later he earned another championship, but this time with the Boston Celtics.
He started his broadcasting career in 1990 as an analyst. For his television broadcasting work, Walton has been nominated for several Emmy awards and in 2001 won an Emmy for best live sports television broadcast. In 1997 he was selected as one of the NBA's fifty greatest players of all time. In the same year, Walton was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, making him the first male basketball player to be so honored from the state of California. He played his prep hoops at La Mesa’s Helix High School.
Walton remains active in basketball through clinics, camps, coaching, and television commentary. He currently resides in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori. They are the proud parents of four sons: Adam, Nathan, Luke and Chris.
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl kicks off at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday, December 30th. The game matches teams from the Pacific-10 and Big 12 Conferences. The 2009 game featured a 33-0 Nebraska Cornhuskers victory over the Arizona Wildcats in front of 64,607 fans and a national ESPN television audience.
The Parade steps off at 10 a.m. PT on game day morning along downtown San Diego’s scenic waterfront on Harbor Drive. The event is recognized as America’s Largest Balloon Parade, having more giant character balloons than any other parade in the United States. Street-side viewing is free, though reserved grandstand seats are available. The parade is televised live locally on Channel 4 San Diego, and broadcast nationally on the USA Network on a tape-delay basis.
For tickets and information for both events, visit BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com.