Walker, who is a redshirt freshman this year, had not been seeing much playing time this season early on, but he filled in very well off the bench Dec. 5 in a win over St. Katherine, an NAIA school from San Marcos, California, at the Orleans Arena. He played 22 minutes and scoring 12 points on 4-of-6 three point shots.
He is the shortest player on the UNLV squad at 5-11, but wears No. 30, which was his high school number at Lincoln County High, where he set numerous NIAA records.
Walker was pressed into service for the St. Katherine’s game, because two Rebel starters, Rashad Vaughn and Jelan Kendrick, were injured and scholarship player Kendall Smith left the team and has decided to transfer.
“I hope there is more to come,” Walker told the Review-Journal after the game. “I try to prepare mentally the same way every game. But with Rashad and Jelan out, I knew I was going to be needed.”
UNLV won the game handily, and Walker said, “This was very special. It’s been a long time, three years, since I played a lot of minutes in a game. I’m sure my folks are very happy. I know I am.
“I know I can do things to help the team. I just want Coach Rice to be able to trust me when he decides to put me in and I know that I can produce.”
Walker got a standing ovation from the crowd at the Orleans after he fouled out in the final 30 seconds of the game.
As of this week, UNLV is 5-2 and has a game at South Dakota (3-7) on Saturday. The Rebels don’t begin Mountain West League play until New Year’s Eve at Wyoming.
Walker is one of two Lincoln County boys from Lincoln County playing college basketball this season. The other is Cody Hosier at Southern Virginia. Hosier, from Pahranagat Valley, is a sophomore guard on the 1-7 Southern Virginia Knights team. He has not been playing much either. In his six games, he is averaging only 7.3 minutes per game, 2-for-11 from the floor, 2-of-7 on three-point shots, and no free throws for 10 total points. Southern Virginia is on Christmas break now until Jan. 3.
On the women’s basketball side, Melynda Boren from Lund High is a junior starter on the Southern Virginia women’s basketball team (2-7), averaging 27 minutes per game and 10.6 points per game.