Lakers coach Luke Walton returned Wednesday to host UA’s athletic department awards show in McKale Center.
It wasn’t the same building he remembered playing in for the Wildcats from 1998-2003.
“It’s changed completely since I’ve been here and they’ve done an incredible job,” Walton said. “It’s top of the line now. … If you’re a recruit coming to town and see this, it’s helpful.”
Walton said he agreed to host the show, named the “CATSYS,” after being contacted by UA associate AD Erika Hanson Barnes. While he said beforehand it was fun touring the campus and University Avenue during the afternoon, he said on stage it was tough leaving his wife, Bre Ladd, home with two sick children on her birthday.
He made up for it by making a FaceTime call from the podium to Bre, a former UA volleyball standout, while musical guest Kelly James played “Happy Birthday” to her.