Walker chosen in second round of NBA Draft

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State freshman forward Bill Walker was selected with the No. 47 pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards at the NBA’s annual draft event on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Walker was then traded by the Wizards to the world champion Boston Celtics for cash considerations.

"We are really happy for Bill and his family on this occasion," said Kansas State head coach Frank Martin.  "We know that with the knee injury that he has some challenges ahead, but Bill has always overcome all sorts of odds to succeed.  I don't see him approaching this any different than he has approached all the other challenges he has faced.  He's a fighter and will find a way to have success in the NBA."

"I'm extremely happy for Bill that he was traded to the World Champions," said Martin.  "They really believe in him and feel he can by a really good player for them.  It's great to see him go to an organization that just won a championship."

Walker becomes the second Wildcat to be taken in this year’s draft, following teammate Michael Beasley who was selected with the No. 2 overall pick by the Miami Heat.  They are the first Wildcat teammates to chosen in the same NBA Draft since 1982 when three players Tyrone Adams (3rd round), Randy Reed (7th round) and Ed Nealy (8th round) were drafted.  It marks the 15th time in school history (1951, 1953, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1982 and 2008) that two players have been taken in the same draft.


Walker is the fifth player in school history to be taken in the second round of the NBA Draft, joining Jack Stone (11th pick, Baltimore Bullets, 1951), Lew Hitch (20th pick, Minneapolis Lakers, 1951), Norris Coleman (38th pick, L.A. Clippers, 1987) and Steve Henson (44th pick, Milwaukee Bucks, 1990).    


Walker could become the second Kansas State player to ever play for the Boston Celtics.  He would join Ernie Barrett, who averaged 4.9 points in 131 games for the Celtics from 1953-56.    


Walker averaged 16.1 points on 46.5 percent shooting (181-of-389), including 30.7 percent (35-of-114) from 3-point range, with 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game this season.  He ranked second to Beasley in nearly every statistical category, including scoring, double-digit scoring (25), 20-point games (nine), double-doubles (four), rebounding, blocks, field goals, free throws (101) and free throw percentage (73.7).  His averages were even higher in Big 12 play, where he averaged 16.6 points on 47.2 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game.


Walker earned numerous accolades after the season, including third team freshman All-America distinction from CBS Sports.com and CollegeHoops.net and freshman All-America honors by CollegeInsider.com.  He was named to the All-Big 12 second team by the Kansas City Star, while he was a third team selection by both the league coaches and The Associated Press.  He was also selected to several all-district squads, including the U.S Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District VI team and to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 12 second team.    


Walker and company helped Kansas State post a 21-12 overall record in 2007-08, including a third-place finish in the Big 12 with a 10-6 mark.  The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly 12 years and captured its first NCAA Tournament win since 1988 with their 80-67 victory over USC in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Omaha, Neb., on March 20.  The team has now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years, while the 10 conference wins tie the 2006-07 squad for the best league record in the Big 12 era.  The third-place finish is the best since the inception of the Big 12 and the highest since the 1988-89 team finished third in the Big Eight. 

Kansas State’s NBA Draft History

Year      Name               Pos.    Team                      Rd    Pick

1947      Jack Stone          F      Chicago Stags             --     --

1949      Howard Shannon     G/F     Providence Steamrollers    1      1

1950      Rick Harman         F      Baltimore Bullets          6     --

1951      Ernie Barrett       G      Boston Celtics             1      7

          Jack Stone          F      Baltimore Bullets          2     11

          Lew Hitch           C      Minneapolis Lakers         2     20

          Ed Head             F      Minneapolis Lakers         7     70

1952      Jim Iverson         G      Boston Celtics            --     --

1953      Jack Carby          F      Baltimore Bullets         --     --

          Bob Rousey          G      Milwaukee Bucks           --     --

          Dick Knostman       C      Syracuse Nationals        --     --

1954      Jesse Priscock      F      New York Knicks            5     40

1955      Jerry Jung          C      Rochester Royals          --     --

1958      Roy DeWitz         G/F     Detroit Pistons            3     19

          Jack Parr           F      Cincinnati Royals         10     63

1959      Bob Boozer          F      Cincinnati Royals          1      1

          Don Matuszak        G      Cincinnati Royals          8     56

1960      Wally Frank         F      Minneapolis Lakers         4     26

1961      Cedrick Price       C      New York Knicks            8     69

          Larry Comley       G/F     Chicago Packers           10     91

1962      Mike Wroblewski     C      Cincinnati Royals          5     42

          Pat McKenzie        F      Chicago Packers           15     99

1964      Willie Murrell      F      St. Louis Bombers          4     33

          Roger Suttner       C      San Francisco Warriors     5     43

1967      Ray Smith           C      New York Knicks           9     95

          Nick Pino           C      Los Angeles Lakers        11    116

1968      Nick Pino           C      Los Angeles Lakers         6     73

          Earl Seyfert        F      Philadelphia 76ers        13    170

1969      Gene Williams       F      New York Knicks            9     95

          Steve Honeycutt     G      Seattle Supersonics       17    203

1970      Jerry Venable       F      Philadelphia 76ers         6     97

1971      Mike Johnson        G      Phoenix Suns               9     149

1972      David Hall          C      Cincinnati Royals         10    148

1973      Steve Mitchell      F      Phoenix Suns               3     43

          Ernie Kusyner      G/F     Kansas City Kings         10    157

1974      Larry Williams      F      Milwaukee Bucks            6     108

          Lon Kruger          G      Atlanta Hawks              9     151

1976      Chuckie Williams    G      Cleveland Cavaliers        1     15

          Carl Gerlach        C      Atlanta Hawks              7     110

1978      Mike Evans          G      Denver Nuggets             1     21

1981      Rolando Blackman    G      Dallas Mavericks           1      9

1982      Tyrone Adams       G/F     Chicago Bulls              3     53

          Randy Reed          F      Cleveland Cavaliers        7     139

          Ed Nealy            F      Kansas City Kings          8     166

1983      Les Craft           F      Cleveland Cavaliers        3     65

1987      Norris Coleman      F      Los Angeles Clippers       2     38

1988      Mitch Richmond     G/F     Golden State Warriors      1      5

1990      Steve Henson        G      Milwaukee Bucks            2     44

2008      Michael Beasley     F      Miami Heat                 1      2

          Bill Walker         F      Washington Wizards         2     47