Walton and Thompson Named AP First Team All-Americans

UCLA's super center Bill Walton and North Carolina State's 18-year-old standout forward David Thompson lead the Associated Press's All-America team that was announced yesterday.

Joining Walton and Thompson on the first team are Ed Ratleff of Long Beach State, guard Ernie DiGregorio of Providence, and center Kermit Washington of American University.

Walton combined his average of 20 points and 17 rebounds a game with his intimidating shot-blocking to lead UCLA's slick and polished fast break. The 6-foot-11 "Big Red Machine" from the top-ranked and undefeated UCLA Bruins, was a runaway choice for All-American.

Considered to be the most exciting player in college basketball this year, Thompson has been ranked by one scout as one of America's ten best basketball players--pro or college--even though he is a sophomore.

DiGregorio, the back court wizard of Providence, is largely responsible for Providence's trip to the NCAA playoff finals. Ed Ratleff, a repeater from last year's first squad, fired in 23 points a game to lead Long Beach to the PAC-8 championship.