Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Cheltenham junior looks to break out at hoops camp

Cheltenham point guard Nafis Walker pauses for a second, thinking of how to respond.

Cheltenham point guard Nafis Walker pauses for a second, thinking of how to respond.

"I'm trying to get some exposure and get my name out there," the 6-foot-2 junior says when asked why he's participating in Sunday's Reebok Headliner Tryout Camp.

"More importantly, I want to show Division I coaches and scouts what I can do, and that I can compete against good competition."

As he says this, Walker has a determined look before grinning.

The exchange took place Thursday after the 16-year-old showed athleticism, court awareness, and a shooting touch during a two-hour workout.

He should get plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills at Reebok's regional tryout camp at Cabrini College.

Walker will be one of 100 campers competing for 10-12 invitations to the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge, scheduled for July 5-9 at Philadelphia University.

The Breakout Challenge runs simultaneously with Nike's LeBron James Skills Academy during the first few days of the NCAA's first summer evaluation period for college coaches.

Both camps provide exposure for Division I prospects in front of college coaches. The Nike event, at the University of Akron, is for 80 of the nation's top invited high school players.

Most of the 150 or so Breakout campers are chosen from the 13 headliner camps at various locations across the nation, including Cabrini.

Paul VI junior guard Ron Curry, Reading Central Catholic freshman power forward Jean Lee Baez, and Math, Civics and Sciences sophomore swingman Jeremiah "Lump" Worthem are among the notable hopefuls registered for Sunday's tryout.

Like those three, Walker is determined to receive an invitation. Unlike those three, he's an unknown commodity to Division I recruiters.

So far, only Division II schools East Stroudsburg and Chestnut Hill have contacted him.

"I feel like I get overlooked all the time," Walker says. "It's like guys get exposure just because of where they play and what their names are. But the guys that don't have a name like me can play, too.

"This weekend is my opportuntiy to show that."

One of the tallest players at Cheltenham, Walker lined up wherever needed last season. However, the Panthers were at their best with him at point guard.

The second-year starter led the team in scoring (14 points per game) and assists (five). He also ranked second in rebounds (seven).

"He can shoot the pull-up from the two and three," Cheltenham coach Brian Johnson says. "He sees the floor very, very well.

"We play him at the two and three, because we need him to. We will play him at the four. But I think he translates at the point guard for the next level. He's a Division I point guard."