Bill Walton and Larry Blum had more in common than just being among the crowd at the University of San Francisco’s National Invitation Tournament game recently.
Both are former San Diego Section basketball players of the year, Blum at Crawford in 1962-63 and Walton at Helix in 1969-70.
Blum set a San Diego Section record with 737 points and had a 23.8 average in Crawford’s 24-6-1 season that concluded with a championship-game, 64-44 victory over St. Augustine.
Walton averaged 29.1 points and scored 960 points in leading Helix to a 33-0 season. Helix defeated Madison, 87-72, for the title in 1969 and repeated, 70-56 over Chula Vista in 1970.
Blum went on to play at the University of San Francisco and forged a highly successful career in the business world in the Bay Area.
Even in his ‘sixties, Blum still plays fullcourt basketball 2 or 3 nights a week and has a key to the USF gymnasium.
Walton became one of the most famous basketball players in history, winning championships at UCLA and with the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics in the NBA.
The 6-foot, 11-inch Walton and 5-11 Blum hooked up last week, when Louisiana State defeated USF, 71-63, in a NIT first-round game at which Walton served as analyst on the ESPN broadcast.
As Walton said during the broadcast, “There is my good friend, Larry Blum, who set all the high school scoring records in San Diego (which Walton broke) and had a successful career at USF and after graduation he produced the world famous Haight-Asbury street sign poster and has been very successful ever since.”