FORT WORTH - New University of Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey had heard of Little Rock Hall sophomore point guard A.J. Walton before he got here.
But he got a chance to put a face and a game with the name on Saturday morning.
That's when the 6-1, 180-pound standout led his talented Arkansas Wings' 16-and-under squad to a win with Pelphrey looking on in the Next Level Ballers AAU event at the TCU practice facility.
"He seems like a nice coach and I think if I end up playing for him we can do some nice things together – maybe win a championship," Walton said. "I am very interested in Arkansas."
Walton, a pure point guard who averaged 13.6 polnts and 5.1 assists for a 25-3 Hall team this past season, likes the fact that up-tempo play and pressure defense is coming back to Arkansas with Pelphrey.
"I love that," Walton said. "I love to run the floor and it sounds like that's what he wants his team to do."
Arkansas Wings head coach Kevin Parker says that Walton is as good as it gets for a sophomore.
"He is very aggressive and when he is attacking the basket it is really hard to stop us," Parker said. "He is strong taking it to the hole, gets our shooters the ball and also sets up our big men for lay-ups and dunks inside.
"He's just really solid all-around," Parker added. "I have had him playing for me since he was nine and he has come on really strong."
He's blessed to play alongside a lot of talent on the Wings team with a trio of 6-7 sophomore forwards in Forrest City's Gavin Glanton, 6-5 Pulaski Academy forward Neil Barrow and shooters like Cabot's Adam Sternberg and Pulaski Academy's Spencer Keith.
"It's a lot of fun playing with these guys," Walton said. "They are all very good and unselfish and we play really well as a team together."
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