74 Reasons to Get Excited for the 74th NBA Season: Reason 13

Reason 13: Kemba Walker’s rookie season

Three-four year college basketball players are a rare commodity now a days, but Kemba Walker did it. Walker is a rare talent who decided to stay in school to improve his game, even when he could’ve left early for the NBA. During his high school career, one of his “claims to fame” was beating an alright player named Derrick Rose. Walker didn’t start as a freshman, but played 25.5 minutes per game, which was more than any regular starter, in leading the Huskies to the 2009 NCAA Final Four. In 2011, the start of his junior year, there was much hype surrounding him as an All-American candidate, but not much hype on his Huskies’ team. After 12 games he averaged 26.7 ppg, which was tops in the nation. Kemba finished the year second behind Jimmer Fredette. And no one will ever forget the Big East Tournament that the UCONN Huskies had. They became the first team to win five games in five days. Walker was named the MVP of that tournament, and scored a combined 130 points in the five games, which is a Big East record. He was a first-team All-American and was arguably the best player in college basketball. He received the Bob Cousy award for the nation’s top point guard, and named the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in helping lead UCONN to another Final Four, and eventually to the championship. Kemba Walker is now in the Huskies of Honor hall of fame, the year after he declared as a junior. Even with all of these accolades, he is still a humble guy. Then in the draft, the Charlotte Bobcats had the honor of selecting him ninth overall. During the lockout, Walker would return to Stoors, CT and support his former team. Now with the lockout over, we will be able to see if his incredible college career continues into the highest level of basketball.

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