BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Pershing’s Walker picks Texas, finishes frenzied recruitment
DETROIT – The state’s top unsigned senior boys hoopster is off the board.
And no his name is not Chuck Norris, however you can now officially start calling him "Walker Texas Ranger."
Detroit Pershing’s Martez Walker, a first-team all-state pick in Class A, ended a fevered last month and a half of recruitment and committed to the University of Texas this week.
The 6-foot-5 swingman will sign his National Letter of Intent with the Rick Barnes-led Longhorns in the next few days.
Walker averaged a robust double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds on a Doughboys squad that was the No. 1 team in the state for the majority of the campaign, winning city, district and regional crowns on their way to a 25-1 record. In the district finals against rival Detroit Cass Tech, Walker buried a game-winning jumper as time expired to send Pershing to a climatic 78-76 victory and keep the Technicians from avenging a loss to the Doughboys just a week before in the PSL championship game.
Following Pershing’s loss to eventual Class A state-champion Romulus in the quarterfinals, the heat was on to get Walker, the most coveted unattached star in the mitten.
He reportedly chose Texas over Providence, Xavier and Temple. Local schools, Michigan and Oakland University got in on Walker’s courting, too.
Walker joins his backcourt partner Kahlil Felder, Pershing’s all-state floor general who is signed with Oakland, as Doughboys that will be playing Division I ball next year. Felder and Walker are two of only five cagers from the PSL destined for Division I schools (24th in the state overall), a number that pales in comparison to past seasons in the historic high school hoop breeding ground.
Texas had an unusually down season in 2013 and closed the curtain on its campaign below the .500 mark at 16-18, breaking a streak of 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Under Barnes’ guidance on the sidelines, prior to this winter the Longhorns had advanced to at least the Sweet 16 five times in the last decade and captured three Big 12 titles.