Bill Walton: Challenge Is To Put All Distractions Away

Hours before tip-off of the national championship Monday, an impassioned and salivating Bill Walton dropped by CBS Sports Radio to describe championship night and what it feels like to win it all – which is something Walton did twice at UCLA in the early 1970s.

“The challenge is to focus and to put all distractions away and realize this is your moment,” Walton began on the Doug Gottlieb Show. “You know the song ‘One Shining Moment’? You got to live that. That has to be you. That’s what these players in this college game have to learn tonight. Who’s going to be that guy (who says) ‘The world is mine?’ That’s what a great coach teaches you. That’s what a great role model, that’s what a great friend, does for you. This is your time. Go out there and grab that.”

Walton recalled how wonderful it was to play for a championship in front of a packed house.

“When that ball becomes an extension of your mind and your spirit and your soul and you just start taking over and the crowd starts building and the tension and the anxiety and it’s just all so perfect – and it’s you,” Walton said. “You never get tired and you just keep right on going and you keep charging. No matter what the other team does, you’re playing above the fray and your teammates are helping you and the coaches are encouraging you and the fans and the bands and the cheerleaders are dancing and screaming and you get to the top of the mountain and it’s fantastic – and you want it to last forever. So just hold on to it.

“But make sure – make sure – you don’t leave anything behind because it’s going to take everything that you have to get this job done. That’s what makes it so worthwhile, (the idea that) the world is mine. I’ve got a chance to do something. I’ve got to make the most of this moment. Learn from yesterday, dream about tomorrow but live right here. This is the chance of a lifetime. One Shining Moment. Dreams do come true.”

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