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Barack Obama sends condolences to Bill Walton's family following basketball legend's passing

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USATSI_19349420 (1)Megan Mendoza/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Former President Barack Obama sent his condolences to the family of Bill Walton after the basketball legend passed away Monday.

Obama, a noted basketball fan particularly during his presidency, was a big fan of the former big man. Walton’s “wonderful spirit” was also on display during his time as a broadcaster.

Obama and family send their regards following the news.

“Bill Walton was one of the greatest basketball players of all time – a champion at every level and the embodiment of unselfish team play,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “He was also a wonderful spirit full of curiosity, humor and kindness. We are poorer for his passing, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family.”

The former UCLA star and No. 1 overall draft pick won a pair of NBA championships during his playing career and also won the 1978 MVP. He battled injuries throughout his career.

At UCLA, Walton won three consecutive National Player of the Year, awards, while leading the Bruins to back-to-back national titles. He was named the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after both seasons.

Walton played in the NBA from 1974-1988, ending his career with the Boston Celtics. He was forced to retire from basketball due to injuries.

He is on the NBA’s list of the 50 greatest players in league history, despite everything he had to overcome.

Walton got into broadcasting after his playing days and was known for his unique style of analyzing games. He worked as a broadcaster for CBS, NBC and most recently ESPN, calling mostly Pac-12 games.

Walton and his broadcasting partner Dave Pasch formed quite the broadcasting tandem, and fans regularly tuned in for their entertaining style.

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