Breaking News: Martez Walker commits to Louisville

<b>INSIDE THE VILLE EXCLUSIVE</b> Central Park Christian freshman standout Martez Walker has decided to end his recruitment early and commit to his dream school - the University of Louisville. Walker, who turns 16 next week, explains why he has decided to become a Cardinal - now.

Martez Walker, a 6 foot 5 high school freshman at Central Park Christian in Birmingham, Alabama, is a Louisville Cardinal.

Well, almost.

Larry Walker, the player's father, told Inside The Ville Friday night that his son will call Louisville head coach Rick Pitino Saturday morning prior to the Cardinals game against South Florida and verbally commit to play for U of L.

"That's where Martez has always wanted to go," the elder Walker said. "He told me 'dad I know that's where I want to go to school and I want to commit to Louisville."

Possessing tremendous upside, Walker can play any of the perimeter positions on the floor, including point guard. He's a hard worker and a good student, carrying a 3.2 GPA in the classroom. On the court, Walker has an excellent handle in the open court, uses a nice crossover and some quick spin moves to get in the lane and is unselfish with the basketball, almost too much so at times. His perimeter jump shot is beginning to come around, too.

And with just a few days before he turns 16 and applies for his first driver's license, Walker has already decided which college he'll attend in the fall of 2008.


Walker becomes the youngest
player in U of L basketball
history to verbally commit
to the Cardinals

"Louisville has a great basketball atmosphere," Martez Walker, one of just three freshman invited to the prestigious ABCD camp last summer, said early Saturday morning. "The fans there give you love and treat you well. I liked coming in the gym when I was up there recently and people already new my name. The people in Louisville are friendly and down to earth. And that is important to me."

Walker, who averages 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the Eagles, led coach Levan Parker's squad with 25 points in a victory over a team from Montgomery, Alabama Thursday night. At Central Park, Walker teams with current U of L signee Jonathan Huffman and admitted that the 6-11 center played a small part in his decision to commit to Louisville.

"He's like a big brother to me but he had to make his own decision and so did I," explained Walker. "I talked to my dad and told him I was ready to commit and he told me it was my decision and that I'd have to live with it. So Jonathan going there wasn't that much of a factor because I had to make the decision that was best for me."

So why the decision to end his recruitment - and the potential hype that usually accompanies the process of selecting a school - now essentially before it really ever started?

"He just wanted to end all the recruiting and the hype and just concentrate on playing basketball and going to school," the elder Walker said. "Rick Pitino and Vince Taylor are class acts. I love it and for my child to be a part of Louisville's program is great."

"The hype doesn't matter to me," Martez said. "I just want to play basketball and get better. I play every game like it's my last game - with or without the hype."

And know this Cardinal fans - Martez Walker will be living his dream when he arrives in town to play his first game for U of L in three years.

"Martez is coming to Louisville - finally," he said. "Louisville's like my second home. I've been coming up there to camp since I was 13 and I love it there."

Walker has attended Pitino's camp the past two summers and is generally regarded as one of the top prospects in his class. He said again Saturday morning that he'll return to Pitino's camp once again this summer.


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