Bill Walton and The Code

Bill Walton died recently.  In 1971 he had long hair.  He told Coach John Wooden that it was a principle for him and he was not going to cut it, even though it was a requirement of the team.  Wooden told him he admired people who had standards and who stuck to them – and that the team would miss him.   Two days later Walton cut his hair, came to practice, and led the UCLA Bruins to three national titles.  In 1973, in the NCAA Championship game, he made 21 of 22 shots (no dunks, illegal then), surely the greatest shooting performance in a college game of all time.  Coach Wooden said, “It’s better to have character than be a character.”  Bill Walton was a character, but one who developed character,   As he later said, “Talent can get you to the top, but only character will keep you there.”   Bill Walton was always a character (meaning a person with an unusual personality), but with his lifelong admiration of Wooden, one who developed character too.  Take a look at the Code: what is one area in which you can try to develop your character?  Will you do it?

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