- Instagram / lonniewalkeriv
Basketball bible SLAM Magazine recently called Walker the "world's most interesting rookie."
In the article published earlier this week, associate editor Alex Squadron goes into full detail on why Walker is such a standout.
First of all, he's insanely talented. At 6'5, Walker made an impression in college basketball during his one year at the University of Miami. He was considered a standout in the 2018 NBA Draft, and experts considered it a steal that the Spurs were able to select him with their later pick (18th) in the first round. In the annual rookie survey following the draft, he was named among the most athletic and likely to have the best overall career.
It makes sense that Walker is destined for greatness. His father played for Alvernia University and was well-known in his hometown of Reading, Penn., where "basketball is embedded in the culture." Though he had large shoes to fill, Walker has proven himself in his college career and during the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
Even well-known brands are taking note of Walker's talent and potential. As of now, he's one of just two 2018 draft picks that's signed to Adidas.
"Being sponsored by Adidas wasn’t supposed to happen," Walker said in the interview. "Me being in the NBA probably wasn’t supposed to happen."
Despite the disbelief, Walker remains grateful for where he's at today. Though he has yet to make his official NBA debut, he's already using his star status to give back. He has partnered with Adidas to donate shoes to Reading's Blacktop League. Walker has been vocal about growing up poor and struggling to make ends meet, which is not uncommon in Reading.
San Antonians, Spurs fans and Walker supporters alike are all waiting to see what's in store for the rookie. They're all buzzing, which Walker said makes him more excited to prove himself.
"I want to become something," Walker said.
- He's got an eclectic taste in music – from Frank Sinatra to Pusha T.
- Friends describe him as a goofball, positive soul
andgenuine person, though he can't be summed up in a few adjectives. He's "not your average 19-year-old," his best friend says.
- Meanwhile, he says he's laid-back and never gets annoyed.
- People have told him he's similar to Manu Ginobili because of their shared eagerness to learn.
- He loves The Office, especially Creed. He can recite many of his lines.
- He's an avid fan of Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. He wants to own a black jaguar or an albino tiger.
- But he also has two dogs – Chico, a German Shepard, and Zola, a Presa Canario. They're often in his Instagram posts.
- If he could, Walker would like to have dinner with Will Smith, Albert Einstein
- He's a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist. He'll even do his own research if someone approaches him with any sort of unconventional thought.
- He's into magicians and illusionists.