To say that Kyree Walker turned heads earlier this week when he announced that not only was he foregoing college but also a pro career in order to focus on training for the 2021 NBA draft, would be severely understating it.
“I know it surprised some people,” Walker said. “The development that I wanted to have to get ready for the draft, it would be different from others. I felt like if I went to college, I wouldn’t have that same development. I just want to get ready for 82 games.”
Walker announced that he would be training with Chameleon BX and renowned trainer Frank Matrisciano in preparation for the draft.
As is stands, players must be 19 years old or one year removed from high school to declare for the draft, per league rules.
Had he gone to college, Walker was clear on which school he would’ve attended.
“I would’ve gone to Memphis,” Walker said. “Penny Hardaway is a player’s coach, he played in the league and was a point guard himself. I would’ve played the point and would’ve made the tourney.”
Walker sat out his senior season at Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) but was once considered to be one of the top 10–15 players in the 2020 class.
A one-time Arizona State commit, Walker is a bouncy scoring guard whose shiftiness with the ball enables him to dominate the opposition. His combination of size (6-foot-6), athleticism and skill made him a hot commodity for college coaches around the country.
Last week, SI All-American Player of the Year Jalen Green, a combo guard out of Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.), and Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) forward Isaiah Todd announced their move to the G League next season.
When asked what range he felt that he could potentially train himself into in next year’s NBA draft, Walker said it was all based on his effort.
“I just have to work 100 times harder than everybody else,” Walker said. “I’m all in with the decision, I just have to work harder than everyone else. I’m gonna make this work.”