Bill Walton talks Arizona

Bill Walton was on hand Thursday for the retirement of Jason Terry's jersey in McKale Center. Read on to find out what he had to say about Terry and the Arizona program.

Arizona retired Jason Terry's jersey on Thursday night and n hand for the event was NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton.

Having been around the Pac-12 conference and the Arizona program for a number of years, Walton has seen what Terry has done for the University of Arizona.

"Terry is a dynamic personality, on and off the court," Walton said. "He was so good that he inspired the next generation to come and be a part of something special because they would not have won the championship without him.

"Our son Luke Walton and Richard Jefferson would not have come to Arizona if not for that National Championship."

With the success that The Jet brought to Tucson during his time there, the impression he left was enough to continue building the program.

"It's the recruiting powers of success and we see how it is all continued," Walton said. "That's his lasting legacy. Jason Terry is such a good dude that he makes you proud and inspires loyalty, which are the two driving forces for sustainability.

When asked if Terry's jersey retirement was overdue, Walton responded, "How does that song go? 'All good things in good time."

Even though Terry's career is winding down, Walton still feels that Terry's game would translate to any level in the game of basketball.

"A good player is a good player," Walton said. "He is an excellent player. He can play in any situation, in any era, on any team and make a positive contribution toward that team being the best of the best. He did that (at Arizona), he did that in high school, and he did that in the pros. He has done anything.

"Very few people have succeeded at every level. Jason Terry is a champion of champions."

Terry was part of the 1997 team that won the National Championship and was an essential building block to the Arizona program. Arizona has continued to rise over time, now being one of the elite programs in the nation.

"Arizona is a top-five team, top-five program in the country," he said. "What they have here is remarkable. The fans, this is the model here in the conference of champions. This is what every other school is striving for. They are all learning from them as to how to get better, how to do it, how to build the fan base, how to recruit, how to develop a program."

As a model for the rest of the conference and the country, the Wildcats are doing things right in Tucson, holding up to one of Walton's most important standards.

"College, young people, it's about building lives," Walton said. "This is the Thorium standard. Thorium is the most important element in the periodic table. Number 90 on the periodic table is what makes up the molten core in the earth. It's what created the magnetic fields. It's what allows an atmosphere to exists, which allows life. Plus, Thorium can be used to create clean, renewable energy. There's enough Thorium on the Earth to create ten thousand years worth of energy.

"The University of Arizona is the Thorium standard."


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