One More Home Game for Walker

Erving Walker never waivered about coming to Florida. There were some in his ear pushing him to head elsewhere when Billy Donovan decided to take an extra guard in the recruiting class before him, but that didn't change his view. Walker didn't mind competing. That hasn't differed during his four years at Florida. The senior guard will play his final home game on Sunday against Kentucky.

"When I told Erving that we needed to go after another point guard, a lot of people told Erving this would be a bad fit with too much depth and too many guards," Donovan said, noting that Walker was told by some around him to reopen his recruitment. "When I had that conversation with him, he was great."

When Taurean Green left with his teammates for the NBA after the 2006-07 season, Donovan added Jai Lucas to the class of Adam Allen, Nick Calathes, Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus. Walter Hodge was the only guard returning to the team, and Donovan wanted some depth. He also was unsure about Calathes' ability to handle the demands of point guard with his 6-6 frame.

Adding Lucas didn't cause Walker to rethink a thing.

He knew competition would be a big part of deciding who saw the court at Florida and knowing he would have to compete with one extra player didn't jeopardize his commitment to Donovan.

"I didn't know what to expect, so I just came in and worked my hardest and let the chips fall where they may," Erving Walker said. "It worked out pretty good for me."

People around Walker May have wanted something different, but Donovan continued to go hard after the already committed point guard. His extra effort wasn't necessary.

Walker stayed strong from the moment he made his verbal commitment to Donovan because he understood competing would happen at whatever other school he would choose.

"He said, ‘wherever I go, I'll have to compete, and I have no problem competing.' He just wanted an opportunity," Donovan recalled hearing from Walker. "From that point on, he has had an incredible career for a guy his size. It's impressive. It's the way he shoots the ball, leaving here as a top-five scorer, but to leave here as the top assist guy in the history of the school, it was been a really good career."

Walker's career stats get overlooked at times. He is 74 points behind Udonis Haslem for third in school history. Walker already has a 16-assist lead in that category. He's 12 three-pointers away from Lee Humphrey's career school record.

He already has a 33-minute lead for the most in school history and seventh in school history with 419 free throws made. He also has worked his way in the top ten for field goals attempted and free throws attempted.

Wherever you look in the record books, Florida fans will see Walker's name.

That's not always the way he is perceived. His over aggression can hurt him and create turnovers, causing frustration from the fan base. Donovan isn't aware of that, but he hopes that the perception of Walker's is similar to the way the head coach views him.

"I don't know what fans' expectations or feelings are for Erving," Donovan said. "I don't know if they appreciate him or not, but I appreciate him because I'm with him every day."

Walker's mom, dad and cousin will be in Gainesville for Sunday's matchup with No. 1 Kentucky (29-1, 15-0 SEC). His demeanor when he's honored before the game will likely match what it usually is on the court—stoic. Walker isn't the emotional type, and while that can frustrate Donovan during games, it's just the type of player he is.

"Probably not," Walker said with a smile when asked if he'll get emotional. "I don't know why, but I'll be okay. I won't cry or anything."

His mindset hasn't changed since coming to Gainesville. Walker always wanted to be remembered the same ways. It's the reason why he has been quiet and hard working player throughout his career.

He doesn't want the attention. He just wants to play. And that's why he just wants to be remembered as "a tough kid that played hard for Florida."

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