Bill Walker: "ESPN's Over-Looked?"

"Teammates who outshine you. Coaches who leave you hanging. The NBA's age requirement. Just facts of life for young hoops stars, right? But what if it's your life? Bill Walker has always played just outside the spotlight - and it's not working out real well for him." That's the sub-title to the "Over-looked" article in this week's "ESPN The Magazine," featuring Kansas State's Bill Walker.

Bill Walker fulfilled a Kansas State dream this week. His story was featured in a national publication - ESPN The Magazine. But sometimes one needs to be careful for what he dreams.

In the mid-pages of the most recent publication featuring the NBA's Dwayne Wade on the cover, Walker's story - "Over-shadowed" - penned by Eric Adelson, spins the tale of everything that the Wildcats' No. 12 ... is not.

The sub-title reads: "Teammates who outshine you. Coaches who leave you hanging. The NBA's age requirement. Just facts of life for young hoops stars, right? But what if it's your life? Bill Walker has always played just outside the spotlight - and it's not working out real well for him."

Adelson goes on to write: "Most of us are defined by the person we are. Bill Walker has always been defined by the person he is not."
* He is not O.J. Mayo, a childhood buddy since the age of 10, and teammate at Cincinnati's North College Hill High School.
* He is not coached by Bob Huggins.
* He is not Michael Beasley, his current teammate at Kansas State University.
* He is not a high-high draft candidate for the 2008 NBA selection process.

Adelson reports that Chris Rivers of Reebok said of Walker, "Bill Walker and the NBA can't be in the same sentence ... not as things stand now."

Had it not been for the NBA rule implemented prior to the 2007 NBA Draft, it's likely Walker, not to mention Beasley and Mayo, would be in the play-for-pay league.

As he's said in multiple local stories, ESPN quotes Walker as saying, "It's messing with people's livelihoods."

Now, Walker does wonder about a livelihood that he needs. He was raised in a small home in Huntington, W.V., that his mother, Nancy Sloan, put $250 down to purchase. With cockroaches and the smell of dead cats providing the living atmosphere, Walker defined it as "... the worst experience of my life."

While the mission of the "ESPN The Magazine" article was to portray Walker as being a touch testy, "suspect" as an NBA prospect because of being a "damaged goods" player, what it fails to mention is the bundle of good that he has brought to Kansas State University. vHe is one of the best pure athletes to ever grace the Ahearn Field House/Bramlage Coliseum courts, he has brought a buzz to the sell-out masses that he helped to revitalize, and he has demonstrated a loyalty to "his" school when "his" coach left Manhattan for Morgantown.

Let it be said that for the Wildcats, Walker "is" a lot of good.


Purple Pride Top Stories