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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Bagga’s first book signing a success

Lisa Beth Earle / Arizona Daily Wildcat

David Bagga book signing at Mostly Books.
Lisa Beth Earle
Lisa Beth Earle / Arizona Daily Wildcat David Bagga book signing at Mostly Books.

Former Arizona basketball walk-on David Bagga greeted and shared stories with Arizona basketball fans Saturday morning at the first signing for his book, “”The Walk-On.””

Fans entered Mostly Books, located at the southwest corner of Speedway Boulevard and Wilmot Road, wearing their Arizona gear and waiting to get a chance to meet the former towel-waving fan favorite. They also hoped to get an autographed copy of his book, which chronicles his four-year experience with the Arizona basketball program.

Eighty-year-old diehard Wildcat fan Arnie DeBease made the most of the opportunity to interact with the former Wildcat. For about 15 minutes, they chatted about everything from former Wildcat Jordan Hill’s playing time in the NBA to Bagga’s nothing-but-net final shot on senior day last year against Stanford.

“”I love his attitude. It’s not about winning or losing with him, it’s about the university, the coaches and everyone else with him,”” said DeBease, who moved to Tucson from New York in 1997, the year the Arizona basketball program won the national championship.

“”I thought it was two minutes left when he hit that last shot, but he says there was only 30 seconds left,”” DeBease, who has been going to UA games since 1985, said about Bagga’s Senior Day shot.

About four years ago, Bagga decided to write the book after attending a banquet where he began telling a woman at his table, also filled with boosters, about how he made the team.


“”I told them how I made a hundred phone calls to around a hundred universities to try to walk on,”” Bagga said. “”I told them how my parents found out before me, and all I had to do was get accepted to the school.

“”She started crying and said that would make a great book,”” he added. “”Later that night I wrote three pages in a journal about what practice was like that day, and it kind of got started from there.””


Bagga’s objective in writing the book was to inspire people to follow their dreams no matter how impossible it may seem.

“”I want to impact as many people as I can. I want someone who’s having a bad day to read this and say, ‘I realize what he’s been through,’ and say, ‘I’m not going to give up,'”” he said. “”It’s not just for athletes, it’s meant for everyone.””

“”The Walk-On”” has been available since Oct. 27, but Saturday was the first book signing that Bagga was able to set up with friend and Tucson Summer Pro League employee Amy Burton.

“”I called a Barnes and Nobles in Tucson. They said no because they need someone more than just me calling in, but I don’t have a publicist,”” Bagga said. “”Amy was nice enough to be there for me to help set this all up.””

Even former Wildcat Joseph Blair dropped in to show support for the book signing. Blair, who played for Arizona from 1992-1996, first met Bagga two years ago.

“”I’m real proud of him for doing it. It’s something that, in my opinion, that is long overdue if you think of the players have come through here,”” Blair said. “”Especially him being a walk-on, it makes for a good story.””

The signing was a success for Bagga, selling about 65 books during the two-hour period. Before the signing was over, Bagga’s book had sold out.

Sherry Roberts, events coordinator of Mostly Books, said major authors generally get around 85 people to attend book signings and Bagga’s met that number.

“”It was an excellent turnout,”” Roberts said. “”We still have people calling who still want copies.””

Bagga was happy with the turnout and is currently seeking other opportunities to promote the book. He mentioned that producers from ESPN’s “”Jim Rome is Burning”” told him there may be a chance for him to come on the show in the future.

Still on the job hunt, Bagga said he is waiting to hear from a pharmaceutical and a banking company, but he will continue to seek ways to promote his book back home in Orange County, Calif. He said he has two books in the works, the next being a children’s book and the third being a more in-depth look at the theme of “”The Walk-On.””

“”The turnout made me feel really good today. People were telling me their kids need to read it and made me feel good,”” Bagga said. “”If I can make an impact on another person’s life, it puts a smile on my face, because that’s what it’s about for me.””

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