’19 Anthony Walker talks about offseason focuses and recruitment thus far

Grassroots
Maryland/D.C.

Posted On: 05/22/18 7:54 AM

2019 Perry Hall/Team BBC forward Anthony Walker turned the eyes of plenty this past season with his poster dunks and shot-blocking ability as he helped lead the Gators to their second-straight 4A state title.

Walker spent the majority of his sophomore season on the junior varsity team before getting moved up to varsity for the beginning of the state playoffs. At that point, he was a very raw prospect, but you could tell just by looking at his height, length and athleticism that if he put the work in, he would be a force. Playing alongside LaQuill Hardnett (Cincinnati commit) and Anthony Higgs (former Ole Miss commit) for the full season in 2017-18, Walker saw plenty of opportunities come his way.

And capitalized.

He also showed glance of playing on the perimeter offensively. The 6-foot-9 forward isn’t considered as a huge threat from outside yet, but he became capable enough to force his man to close out when left open. Adapting a three-point shot to his game revealed other parts to his offensive arsenal that needed work, such as ball-handling so he would be able to attack close-outs and finish around the rim.

That’s exactly what’s been the main focus of Walker’s training this spring/summer. When he isn’t playing with Team BBC, you can find him in the gym with his trainer Jamaal Haywood.

“Since my high school season came to a close, I’ve just been in the gym working on my handles and my jump shot with my trainer,” Walker told Prep Hoops. “I’m focusing on becoming more of a stretch wing for not only my last year, but for my future in college as well.”

As we approach June, there is already a significant difference in Walker’s shot not only from three, but also off the dribble in the mid-range area. The location and rotation on the ball has improved.

“I credit it all to my trainer,” Walker said. “He has me getting reps up in the gym every single day, so I owe a lot to him for getting better in the past few months.”

Haywood is the founder of 9450 Basketball Training. He trains over 20 professional and Division I players. We caught up with Haywood to discuss his experience with Walker thus far and his insight on his future.

“I started working with Anthony about two months ago in hopes to tap into the oozing potential that he has within him,” Haywood said. “At 6-foot-9 and still growing, he has the ability to knock down the mid-range and three-point shot. His athleticism is unmatched at the high school level in the state of Maryland. My focus with him has been three things: tweaking his form (high release point) to avoid blocked shots, improve ball handling so that he can be more comfortable putting the ball on the floor from the perimeter and lastly, working on his footwork from mid to the low post area. I believe once he gets those things embedded in his game, sky’s the limit for him.”

Since February, Walker has picked up 10 offers. We caught up with him this past weekend at Hoop Group’s Southern Jam Fest to discuss some of the schools who’ve been recruiting him the hardest.

VCU: “They contact me every day and make sure I’m good. I’m starting to develop a personal relationship and get close with them, so I like that.”

Rhode Island: “They’ve been on me a lot too. I really appreciate the job they’re doing checking up on me, my mother and my father. That means a lot to me.”

TCU: “That offer was a big one for me. They check up on me now and then. I got that offer in April during the last live period, so it’s still fairly new.”

St. Joseph’s: “They’re my newest offer and ever since there’s been a lot of communication between me and the coaches, so I really appreciate that.

Walker plans on setting up visits with schools either sometime in June or once AAU comes to a close.