By JACK LeGWIN
It’s not always easy coming off a championship. When you walk into a gym, everyone is going to bring their best, knowing what your team is capable of.
CJ Walker and the Orlando Christian Prep Warriors know this exact feeling coming off of a 27-4 season as well as a 3A State Championship win over Deltona Trinity Christian. They’ve started out this season on a bit of a slower note, but Walker said he wasn’t worried about the start.
“We definitely had a slow start to this year,” Walker told BTS Sports. “But we will fix it for sure. We have to play better as a team overall. The wins are going to come for us over time. We just have to come ready to play and work hard to get another ring. There’s a lot of good teams out there, we came in with the mindset that we have to work hard to achieve our goals, but we saw that we could lose. Even if you have a good squad you can still lose, so you really have to bring it every game.”
Ranked No. 74 in the class of 2019 by 247 Sports, Walker says he’s noticed that the biggest key to success is realizing the hard work that you have to put in daily to reach your goals.
“I really learned that even though you might be better than everyone else at an early age, you can’t let your foot off the gas,” Walker said. “Once you get to the next level, you’re going to find a lot of guys like you.”
As an athlete from the Sunshine State, there’s a lot of high level players in all sports, but Walker says he specifically looks up to an FSU Grad, and current Orlando Magic wing, and cites a future UNC Tar Heel and teammate is his toughest matchup.
“I really look up to a lot of the guys in college that played on the EYBL,” Walker said. “Jonathan Isaac is a guy I look up to, but playing Nassir (Little) in practice is pretty tough. In terms of playing against players, Nassir and Emmitt Williams are a tough matchup.”
Walker has really seen his stock rise drastically over the past year, but he’s not focusing on the increased attention. He just wants to play the best he can in the coming months.
“You have to bring your game whether they’re there or not,” Walker said. “Those coaches are watching how you handle yourself on and off the court. But as of right now, I’m completely open on all schools. Every school that offers me is really a blessing. I think I just have to play my game, I know I’m getting noticed a lot more, and that a lot of people are watching me, but I just have to play hard, with a high motor and see if I can improve on what I’ve done over the last year or so.”
Walker, has picked up offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Miami, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, TCU, St. Louis, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, VCU, Wichita State and UCF.
Photo: Orlando Sentinel