April 8, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Former John A. Logan College standout guard, Darien Walker, was one of 26 finalists for the prestigious Riley Wallace Award presented annually to the nation’s top first-year transfer player in Division I college basketball by CollegeInsider.com.

Wallace is a former Centenary and Hawaii head coach, who was known to welcome transfers into his program at Hawaii. He led Hawaii’s basketball program to nine postseason appearances and is the school’s all-time winningest coach.

This year’s award winner was University of Maryland Eastern Shore senior forward Michael Myers, Jr.

Originally from Chicago, Walker played last year at Logan before transferring to Valparaiso University.

According to the Valpo Web site, Walker made an immediate impact with the Crusaders, averaging 10.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The junior was even better within the Horizon Conference, averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds.

JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters was pleased to hear Walker was considered for the award.

“Anybody that knows Darien would not be shocked at the year he had. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around –a  blue-collar kind of guy. We had schools who refused to recruit Darien. He sat there available for a long period of time and ended up in a great situation at Valpo, where he enjoyed a tremendous junior year. And with everybody coming back, he and the team ought to have a great senior year.”

Smithpeters said Walker was the Crusaders’ second-leading scorer.

“Darien hit some game-winning shots for them and rebounded very well. To get that experience of going to the national tournament…I’m very proud of him. I can’t say I’m surprised by his success, though.”

 

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.