In the days leading up to the McDonald’s All American Games in Chicago, USA TODAY High School Sports will be catching up with various players to talk about their experiences. In this entry, we talk to Miami signee Lonnie Walker, 6-4 shooting guard from Reading (Pa.). He is ranked as the No. 18 player overall in the ESPN 100. Walker arrived in Chicago hours after leading his team to its first state championship with 22 points.
I got home from the Giant Center in Hershey at 2 on Saturday and then we were at Reading High for a little bit. I got home again at 4. I got picked up at 5 and my flight was at 7. I really didn’t get any sleep, but honestly, it’s been so amazing.
Finally winning states and then the same night flying into Chicago and getting the chance to play with the top talent across the country. … Not too many people in the world can say they’ve done something like this and I can be one of them.
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The fans from Reading were just as hungry as we were. Whenever we scored, the arena just went rampage. Whenever I had a dunk or Tyrone Nesby made a three, they just went crazy. Everyone is yelling. You couldn’t even hear your own voice. They inspired us to play hard and motivated us to work even harder with that amount of people there, it’s basically like a home game. That was the edge to the game that made us play a lot better.
The first two days of practice here have been great. I’m knocking down shots, dunking, passing, playing great defense and showing my athleticism. My overall game has exceeded how I thought I’d play due to Saturday night. Everything is going really well. The last two days I think a lot of people are starting to see my true position and how good of a player I am. I look at myself as a shooting guard but I can pass the ball really well. I’ve been showing that out and I showing other assets to my game that no one really sees.
I was going to be in the JamFest, buy my legs are kinda beat up from Saturday. I don’t want to overwork them. I go from here to Phoenix and I’ll be doing the (American Family Insurance High School Slam). I feel pretty confident. I know I can definitely jump. After practice or during our breaks, I’ve been trying some stuff with Collin Sexton. We’ll see how it goes. I usually just think something up the last minute and then go do it.
My goal while I’m here, though, is to show who I am — not just the player people think I am. I can pass, I can shoot, I can dribble. The whole nine yards. I want to show everyone I’m more than just an athlete. I have an all-around player.
Going to the Ronald McDonald House really inspires me. Being able to see kids from Chicago and making them happy that puts a big thing in my heart.