Bill Walker Signs with Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins announced today that high school recruit Bill Walker (North College Hill HS/Cincinnati, Ohio) has signed a financial aid agreement with the university and will be eligible to compete for the Wildcats at mid-year of the 2006-07 season.


In addition, Walker has enrolled as a part-time student, Huggins said.  He will be able to join the basketball squad on Dec. 16, the first day that a mid-year student-athlete can become eligible for athletic aid, practice and competition.  Until that date, Walker will not be permitted to participate in any athletically-related activities.


Walker joins the Kansas State program after exhausting his athletic eligibility at North College Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he guided the Trojans to consecutive Division III state championships in 2004-05 and 2005-06.  He enrolled in an accelerated program through North College Hill and received his high school diploma this fall.  Walker has completed all initial eligibility requirements and has been certified for competition by the NCAA.   


“We are extremely excited about having Bill in our program,” said Huggins.  “He is one of the most explosive athletes that I have seen on the high school circuit in many years.  He is a player who can tremendously affect the outcome of games on both ends of the court.  And to top it off, he is a great kid.  He is an outstanding student and a great teammate.”


A 6-foot-6, 220-pound small forward from Cincinnati, Ohio, Walker is one of the most highly-regarded high school recruits to ever join the Kansas State program.  He was selected to the 2006 Parade magazine All-America Boys’ Basketball second team.  In addition, he was named to the USA Today All-USA High School Boys’ Basketball All-Junior team and to the EA Sports High School Boys’ Basketball First Team.


Walker was a three-year starter at North College Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he helped the school to back-to-back Ohio Division III state championships.  This past year, he helped the school to a 26-1 overall record, the state title and a No. 3 final ranking in the USA Today Super 25 High School rankings.  He averaged 21.7 points and 10.1 rebounds as a junior en route to earning first team all-state honors from the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association and the Cincinnati Enquirer.     


Walker was named the most valuable player of the 2006 Ohio Division III state tournament, as he averaged 22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game en route to helping the Trojans to the title.  After collecting 23 points and 13 rebounds in the semifinals, Walker had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the 90-73 win over Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland) in the state championship game.  For his efforts, he was selected the USA Today National Player of the Week.


Walker averaged 19.6 points and 11.4 rebounds in helping North College Hill to a 27-1 overall record as a sophomore in 2004-05, which included the state championship and a No. 17 final ranking in the USA Today Super 25.  He once again performed well in the state tournament, averaging 17.0 points and 12.5 rebounds, including a 19-point, 14-rebound effort in the 71-65 win over Ironton in the state final.


Walker left North College Hill with his name littered throughout the school’s record book.  His name is listed in the top-10 of five career, single-season and single-game categories.  Walker ranks second in most points (50, vs. Holmes, 2/12/06) and rebounds (25, vs. Holmes, 2/12/06) in a game, fourth (318; 2004-05) and sixth (230; 2005-06) in most rebounds in a season, fifth (550; 2004-05) and sixth (522; 2005-06) in most points in season and eighth in career points (1,090).


In addition to his high school success, Walker has also excelled on the international front for Team USA.  Last summer, he helped the USA White Team to a perfect 5-0 record at the 2005 USA Youth Development Festival in San Diego, Calif.  Playing alongside 2005 consensus National Prep Player of the Year Greg Oden and Kansas freshman Darrell Arthur, Walker helped the White to wins over the USA Red and Blue teams as well as China, Canada and Russia.  He ranked second in the tournament in field goal percentage (.633; 31-of-49), ninth in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and 20th in rebounding (4.8 rpg.).


Walker will wear No. 12 at Kansas State, which was also worn by Wildcat legends Mike Evans (1974-78) and Lon Kruger (1971-74).  Both Evans and Kruger had their jerseys retired last year.


Walker chose Kansas State after receiving interest from a number of schools, including Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Syracuse, USC and Texas.