Posted On: 07/11/18 2:53 PM
Few in Baltimore Metropolitan area have blown up as fast as 2019 forward Anthony Walker. After helping Perry Hall capture their first state championship in 2016-17, he decided to join Team BBC on the Adidas Gauntlet to help with exposure and prepare for an important junior campaign. Fast forward a year later, the Gators hoisted yet another 4A state title and Walker’s stock skyrocketed to the point where he received eight scholarship offers in a two month period. But Walker wasn’t finished. Since then, he’s received four other scholarship offers and made the announcement that he would transfer from Perry Hall to national powerhouse Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
“I chose Brewster because it’s pretty much a basketball school that really helps you get to the next level,” the 6-foot-9 forward told Prep Hoops. “It’s an opportunity to move away from home, live on campus and get a college-like experience. Coach Smith was a big reason too because he’s a great coach who has history of helping players reach their potential, so I wanted to be a part of his program.”
Brewster has sent over 100 of alumni to play Division I basketball, 12 of which played in the NBA since 2010. Current Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton (Lake Clifton), NBA G-League forward C.J. Fair (Baltimore City College) and Andrew Fitzgerald, currently playing in Japan, have all hailed from the city of Baltimore and continued their journey at Brewster.
The benefits of Walker choosing Brewster include things such as playing a national schedule against other nationally ranked programs, being exposed to college-like practices and strength programs, and learning to be away from home, which is a factor that is often overlooked.
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be,” Walker said. “It’s going to be tough being away from home for the first time going to school, but it’s what I need and I’m excited for the experience.”
Last year, Brewster finished with a 26-7 overall record, losing to Connecticut College in the quarterfinals of the National Prep School Championship. Walker will look to be a big piece to helping the Bobcats add yet another NEPSAC Class AAA Championship and a National Prep School Championship to the gym’s wall. He did so successfully at Perry Hall, so it’s only right that he does the same on a national stage.
Perry Hall advances to the state championship game with a commanding win over Gaithersburg. '19 Anthony Walker scored 15 points, including this emphatic slam @HoopMajor @AntgotClout @CoachP_Bball @Hall_Pride pic.twitter.com/VwrE6U0uZh
— Adam Ayalew (@AyalewAdam) March 9, 2018
As for head coach Jason Smith, he thinks highly of Walker and his abilities.
“I saw some highlights on social media after the high school season and thought hey this kid looks pretty good,” Smith told Prep Hoops.“I was surprised that he didn’t have more interest from more high level college programs. I think Ant has a really high ceiling and a ton of upside.”
Smith saw a lot of similarities in Walker’s build and overall game with players that he’s had in the past on very good teams. Being able to play on the stage Brewster offers should certainly catch the eye of some high major programs around the country.
It seemed like every time the Gators took the floor this past season, Walker was giving the town a new dunk to talk about. Not only is he 6-foot-9, but he also is freakishly athletic and has a long wingspan that helps him finish well above the rim. Perry Hall featured three players 6-foot-8 or taller, but Walker was without a doubt, the strongest shot blocker of the group.
The game of basketball is different today, though. Five to 10 years ago, you’d see coaches demanding Walker to play with his back to the basket on the block to utilize his size. But the game has evolved into players of all sizes being able to play out on the perimeter. Walker is well aware and has been embracing his perimeter skills in his workouts with trainer Jamaal Haywood.
“My ball handling is getting way tighter,” said Waker. “I’m becoming a lot more confident with that and my jumpshot. So I just want to keep building heading into the July live period and this fall and winter at Brewster.”
Ironically, Walker shares the same trainer as former Brewster stars mentioned earlier. Both former Bobcats had nothing but positive things to report back to Coach Smith.
“His trainer trains two guys who I’ve coached in C.J. Fair and Andrew Fitzgerald and they both said that he’s a hard worker, he loves to be in the gym, has a ton of upside potential and that he would greatly benefit from a Brewster experience.”
From my seat, this move is a win-win for both parties. Walker gets to experience the bright lights of playing for a national program while seeing his recruitment pick up even more. On the other hand, Coach Smith and Brewster get a player with sky-high potential to help chase another national title.