Ashland University Students Get Bill Walton to Autograph Basketball

5/3/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University finance students attending the Redefining Investment Strategy Education (R.I.S.E.) competition, the world's largest student investment forum, had the opportunity to meet former NBA star Bill Walton and have him autograph a basketball.

Walton presented the keynote address that dealt with his leadership and experience at the event, which was held at the University of Dayton in late April.

With some entrepreneurial thinking, members of this year's Ashland University finance team suggested that an autographed basketball would be a perfect Silent Auction item for the Eagle Investment Group Golf Outing in August.

Three students -- Jennifer Goodrich of Phoenix, Arizona; David Rose of Mansfield; and Evan Mumea of Mansfield -- ran with the idea. They found a Dick's Sporting Goods store and purchased a regulation size, Spalding basketball.

With the help of one of the staff members, they were able to meet Walton and have him autograph the basketball.

"Bill Walton is tall. Really, really tall," Mumea said. "Standing right around two feet above myself he welcomed us, asked us where we were from and what the cause was, and accepted the basketball to be signed.

"When he had signed it, we shook hands and walked out. As fast as it began it was over. It was a great little adrenaline rush, and also a great feeling to be able to meet a legend and shake his hand," Mumea said.

The students reflected that Walton's speech was excellent because his life experiences speak to everyone. Walton spoke about integrity and persistence, which are characteristics that apply to students and professionals alike.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.