Second act

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Second act

The doctor is in.

by Joni Moths Mueller

He answers the phone “Dr. Lloyd Walton,” which would elicit a delighted chuckle from Coach Hank Raymonds. Though Walton, Ed.D., Arts ’76, stacked up impressive statsfor Marquette basketball — and recently was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame — he lacked the stat that mattered most to his former coach. Walton left Marquette still five credits shy of completing a degree.

“Coach Raymonds called my mom and said I was to get my ‘so and so’ up to Marquette to get this done,” Walton says. That was after his career with the NBA, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Kansas City Kings, ended. But life continued. He took Raymonds’ advice. “I hated school but I fought through,” Walton says.

That’s the message Walton — the doctorate holder — delivers to incoming recruits as an NBA Players Association counselor. “Plan for the future,” he tells them. “I don’t think we athletes understand the transitions. We go from high school to college, then one team to another. The last stop is the most significant, and basketball probably won’t be a part of our lives anymore. I tell the recruits to prepare while they’re playing for what they want to do next.”

Walton takes his own advice. He’s always planning for what’s next. First up this time is launching a private consulting firm with focuses on transitioning, motivational speaking and life coaching. Then comes publication of his first book, due to be released this spring. 

Tell us about an alum jump-starting a new career.

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Comments

  1. Lloyd is a great guy. He was a sophomore playing for Al McGuire’s great 1973-74 Warriors, MU’s first team to make it to the NCAA championship game, and I was the Marquette beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal. Before a regional tournament round at the U. of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Bear Bryant, Alabama’s famous football coach having gone on to serve as athletic director, invited the visiting teams and those accompanying to a round of golf on the university’s course. McGuire, of course, seldom went anywhere without his clubs,so he and some others were well prepared. Not I. I could rent clubs but couldn’t play in dress shoes. Lloyd to the rescue. He lent me a pair of his practice sneakers. They were too big and they did nothing for my golf game but I was able to play and enjoy the outing. Then, of course, Marquette went on to beat Vanderbilt and Michigan to make the final four at Greensboro, N.C., where the Warriors beat Kansas before losing to North Carolina State in the final. And to this day, I can say I walked a mile in another man’s shoes. Thanks, Dr. Walton.

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