Basketball icon Bill Walton, one of only four players in history to win multiple NCAA and NBA championships, will deliver the commencement address at New England Institute of Technology’s commencement exercises on May 1 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
Rhode Islanders will particularly remember Walton coming off the bench in 1986 to help the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics to the NBA championship. Walton won the NBA’ s `Sixth Man of the Year’ award that year.
Before turning professional, Walton was one of the most honored players in NCAA history, winning 88 games and leading UCLA to two national championships under legendary coach John Wooden.
After retiring from the NBA, Walton forged a career as a sports broadcaster and earned a reputation for insightful color commentary of college and pro games. A huge Grateful Dead fan, Walton is also known for many charitable endeavors.
At the commencement, Rhode Island business leader
Karl Wadensten will also be honored. He is president of VIBCO Vibrators, a Wyoming, RI manufacturer of industrial and construction equipment.
Waldensten is also a member of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. More than 1,000 students are scheduled to receive degrees at the school's 76th commencement.