VIDEO: Martez Walker up close and personal

<b>EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW</b> Talented University of Louisville freshman prospect Martez Walker talks about playing in Louisville against Pleasure Ridge Park and explains his afinity for the Cardinals.

6-5 Martez Walker of Central Park Christian in Birmingham, Alabama, considered one of the nation's top freshman prospects, made his public debut in Louisville Saturday night against the Pleasure Ridge Park Panthers.

Click here for video interview (1:45; 6.8mb)

Walker, who finished the game with 7 points, 4 steals, 4 assists and 3 rebounds, started for the Eagles and saw extensive action at both the point and on the wing.

PRP, led by Mr. Basketball frontrunner JuJuan Spillman, knocked off Walker and Central Park 75-70 before a packed house at PRP's Charlie W. Miller gym Saturday night.

"We've got some things to work on but for the first game I thought we played well," Walker said. "We made some careless turnovers but other than that we played pretty good as a team."

PRP's relentless fullcourt pressure created some problems for Walker and the Eagles, especially in the first half of action. Following the game, the youngster admitted that he'd never faced pressure like PRP's before in live action.

"I've had teams come at me with the press but not the whole game," Walker said. "We forced the action at the beginning but we calmed down at the end and made a game of it."

Prior to the game, Walker, despite his freshman status, led his Central Park teammates into the gym. He and teammate, U of L signee Jonathan Huffman, were easy targets to spot upon arrival, not only because of their impressive size, but also for the headgear they sported; with U of L logo emblazed on the front.

Walker, who hails from LaPlace, Louisiana, is also making a big transistion this year having moved away from his family, who still reside in his native state, to Birmingham. Walker said that Huffman has helped him with the transition and explained that he looks up to his older teammate.

"Jonathan is like my big brother," Walker explained. "He looks after me at school while I'm away from home right now and I go home with him on the weekend's to his house and it's a family atmosphere. I really look up to him."

How has Walker handled being away from his father, mother and younger brother?

"I'm a very mature 15-year old kid," said Walker. "My mom and my dad have raised me real well. It's hard sometimes being away from home but I just focus on working hard and take any frustration out on the court or by doing my school work."

Walker, who sports a 3.5 GPA, has also developed an afinity for Rick Pitino's University of Louisville basketball program. He's attended Pitino's summer basketball camp each of the past two seasons, and says he'll be back for more next summer. So how did a kid from Louisiana develop his Cardinal tastes?

"Me and my dad sat down one time and we watched Louisville play Kentucky and my dad really likes the style of basketball Rick Pitino puts on the court," Walker said. "After that, I told him I wanted to come up and see what it was all about. I came to [U of L's basketball camp] the first year and told him I had to come again the second year. And I'm going to come again next summer."

And Walker is clear about his college intentions, though it's still very early in the recruiting process for the 6-5 freshman. Asked if Cardinal fans might see him wearing a U of L jersey in a few seasons in Freedom Hall, Walker responded without doubt or hesitation.

"I think so," Walker said with a wide grin. "I really do."


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