One of the most promising high school players in the nation, Bill Walker, had his second major knee injury last year. The rehabilitation promised to be extremely difficult. Many thought his career was in jeopardy.
Jeff Goodman of FOXSports writes about the Kansas State redshirt freshman who was once destined to challenge the NBA's rule against players coming straight from high school, but is now happy to be playing at all as he continues to heal:
When Walker took the court in Italy, it wasn't pretty. He tipped the scales at about 265 pounds -- about 40 pounds heavier than when he arrived at K-State.
"I was slow and didn't have the first step," he admitted.
But that was a couple months ago. Things have changed - dramatically.
Walker's back in shape and at 235, which is the weight he plans to play this season. He's also become a more complete player and has had the time to work on his jump shot - which was always erratic. Walker said his shot won't be nearly as flat as it's been in the past.
"I know I need to quit relying on my athleticism," Walker said. "I want to be a better all-around player and not just be a guy who can dunk."
But the bottom line is that no matter how much his perimeter shot improves, Walker's bread and butter will always be his ability to get to the basket.
Walker's concerns that his explosiveness may not be what it once was were quelled a couple weeks ago when he caught an alley-oop pass from Gilbert Arenas at a local Washington, D.C., summer league and hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity before putting the ball threw the net.
"It was like I was gliding," Walker said. "I didn't think I could get that high."