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OU inks JUCO point guard
Chris Walker set to play for reigning Big 12 champs
NORMAN â€”Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson announced Monday that Chris Walker, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard from San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif., has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Sooners.
Selected the 2004-05 Northern California Junior College Player of the Year, Walker averaged 1.7 points and 7.7 assists while directing the Mustangs to a 30-2 record this past season. He also totaled 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. His assist and steal averages led the Bay Valley East Conference.
â€śWeâ€™re excited about Chris,â€ť said Sampson. â€śThe point guard position is such a key position. There are so many good guards out there who play the point but arenâ€™t point guards. Chris is a point guard and heâ€™s a winner. I think winning is his greatest attribute.â€ť
Beside leading San Joaquin Delta to 30 wins, Walkerâ€™s efforts helped advance the Mustangs into the semifinal round of the California Community College Championships, where the lost by one point in overtime.
â€ś(Chris) was the Northern California Junior College Player of the Year, but he only averaged 11 points. The thing you take from that is that he knows how to win and makes people better. Heâ€™s long, heâ€™s left-handed. His strength is running the team and understanding the point guard position. We think heâ€™ll step in and help us right away,â€ť Sampson added.
Walker, who attended Foothill High School in Sacramento, Calif., and won a state title as a senior, has helped his teams post a combined 115-15 record over the past four seasons (two at Foothill and two at San Joaquin Delta), according to his junior college head coach, Brian Katz.
â€śHe's a tremendous leader, a tremendous playmaker,â€ť Katz said. â€śHe is a consummate point guard who has nothing on his mind but winning. Chris just has a great ability to think the game, understand the game and win the game. He does so many things that don't show up in the box score. Iâ€™d like to know if anyone whoâ€™s been player of the year anywhere has averaged 11 points a game. That tells you thereâ€™s a lot more going on with him than just stats. Heâ€™s mature way beyond his years.
â€śThe guys (at Oklahoma) will love playing with him because theyâ€™ll get the ball. He leads in a positive way and knows how to nurture the group. In my opinion, heâ€™ll be the Tom Brady of point guards in NCAA basketball. There are guys who throw the ball farther and do all this and do all that, but Tom Brady has three rings and you still never hear him mentioned among the top guys. Chris is cut from the same mold.â€ť
Walker joins an OU recruiting class that also includes junior college first-team All-America guard Michael Neal, Texas All-State high school guard Austin Johnson and Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year Taylor Griffin, a high school forward.
Oklahoma is coming off a 25-8 season in which it earned a share of the 2005 Big 12 regular season title by posting a 12-4 league record. The Sooners were the Big 12 Tournament No. 1 seed and earned a No. 3 NCAA Tournament seeding.
From an OU Sports Information Release