Kemba Walker clarifies comment on reading

During the Final Four Kemba Walker seemed to confirm to Sports Illustrated his academic counselor's suggestion that he had just recently read a book cover-to-cover for the first time. He told told the magazine, "That's true. You can write that. It's the first book I've ever read."

On Wednesday as the UConn Huskies toured the State Capitol in Hartford, Walker clarified the comment to The Associated Press.

He said it upsets him that the comment may have hurt the school's reputation.

"That's just what people want," Walker said. "They want to bring us down. Regardless of what they say, I'm still graduating in three years, so that comment means absolutely nothing. I've read a lot of books."

He said he was talking about loving a book so much that he just sat down and read it cover-to-cover.

"It's a big emphasis on academics at UConn," he said. "They make sure we are student-athletes first. I'm going to get my degree. I will find time to do my work."

After the reaction the comment generated, Walker told the Hartford Courant earlier in April that, "I read a lot of books. But not just start to finish. I might have skipped some chapters."

Walker's original comment came at a time when he was aiming toward graduating in three years. He left for the NBA draft after leading UConn to the national championship.

The Huskies are also facing a possible penalty if they do not make a sufficient score with the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate, and Calhoun could lose his bonus money for winning the NCAA title. In addressing the issue, he had this explanation:

"Eight straight years, we made the APR," Calhoun told The Associated Press. "If because someone left early or didn't finish, all those various things that get you ... when you have 16 kids leave (for the pros) in a 10-year period, you are more likely to be more open to (a low APR) happening."