Lonnie Walker is statistically the greatest recruit in University of Miami Basketball history.
In high school he led Pennsylvania’s Reading High School to their first state title in school history. He averaged 18.4 points per game his senior year to earn him the Mr. Basketball Honor in Pennsylvania and a spot in the McDonalds All-American Game.
But the 6’4’’ guard had a moment where his season could've been over before it even started. Walker tore his meniscus on July 11th this past summer and soon afterward had surgery at UHeath Sports Medicine Institute.
For everyone asking I did tear my meniscus. But I promise this will not slow me down. Minor setback for a major comeback Isaiah:40-29— Bruce Lee (@lonniewalker_4) July 12, 2017
As you can see, Walker obviously had a positive attitude going into recovery and that may have played a role in a successful rehab process. Walker recovered remarkably fast, and was officially cleared to play on October 17th.
“He’s such a wonderful young man and hard worker that his progress was consistently good,” said Head Coach Jim Larranaga about Walker’s rehab process. “The only thing that slowed him down was the hurricane, where he didn't have 100 percent attention to detail with our trainer.”
After the storm, Walker found himself on the back end of recovery with the season fast approaching. Before being cleared to play, Walker was able to mentally prepare for the season.
“I had been doing more film than usual, I was paying more attention to detail than before,” Walker told me at media day. “I was defiantly antsy to get back, but I was patient because I had so much work to do to get to the point I wanted to be at.”
Walker will most likely play the role left by Davon Reed, who averaged 15 points per game as a senior last year. Whenever Walker exits the game, the next men up will be fellow Freshman guard Chris Lykes, Redshirt Freshman Sam Waardenburg, and three-point specialist DJ Vasiljevic.
As a blue-chip prospect, he has potential to be a high NBA lottery draft pick if he chooses to go pro after the season. If he plays at the potential that everyone expects him to play at this year, that is certainly a possibility. But whatever happens after the season, Walker will be expected to play at a high level in order to meet his and the team’s expectations for the year ahead.