H/T Jon Lopez/Nike
CJ Walker is coming off a dominant season for E1T1, guiding them to a Peach Jam berth while displaying elite versatility and toughness.
We caught up with the talented junior on a variety of topics, including Peach Jam, the next level and what he'd be doing if basketball wasn't around.
What better stage to compete on than Peach Jam?
Question: You were named Second Team All-EYBL. How did that feel?
CJ Walker Jr: Man, I never imagined making a prestigious team that has so many great players. The EYBL is by far the toughest circuit to play on. Its a great feeling knowing I'm selected as a top-10 player on the most competitive circuit of them all and this is truly an honor. I'm blessed and thankful. Coach Marcus, my guy, had set goals for me going into AAU season and he's on me hard, so is Coach Reece. He's been an inspiration to my game the way he challenges me.
Q: You really showed out this spring. What do you feel like you improved the most in your game?
CW: What improved was consistency and my approach to my workouts and the game. Coach Reece and Marcus told me after session one in Dallas that I needed to step my game up tremendously, and the rest is history.
Q: Yeah man your motor never stops. You take pride in simply out-working people?
CW: I knew guys I was playing against were considered the cream of the crop, like Keion, Cassius, Weems and Trendon just to name a few. I wanted to prove to the world I belong to in the conversation with them. I play with a chip on my shoulder. Where I come from, New York and Sanford, Florida, nothing is given to you. You have to out work the next man in order to eat.
Q: How excited are you for Peach Jam? How do you envision it playing out?
CW: I'm super excited for Peach Jam. It's the mecca of AAU basketball. I've never got the chance to experience it, but Ive seen pics and players talk about it. I just want to prove to everyone that my spring play wasn't a fluke. I want us to shock the world. The pool we're in gets no better. I love competition and what better stage to compete on than Peach Jam.
Q: You were terrific defensively throughout the season. Is there an adjustment playing D in HS as to EYBL? I know in EYBL you are primarily guarding a big down low. Do you like showing off the shot-blocking ability?
CW: Yes a BIG difference than high school season. Everyone in the EYBL can shoot and put it on the floor so you must play defense. But i love showing that I can guard all five positions.
Q: The versatility is crazy man, especially the rim defense. What are you looking to improve right now? What's the biggest hole in your game?
CW: Free throws, free throws, free throws. Also to improve my skill set. Those are my two important things I want to show this July.
Q: What have you done between last session and Peach Jam? What's a typical day like for you?
CW: A typical day is weight training at 6 am ,and shots up in the evening or I get shots up 2 times a day. I've been going non stop, I had two camps, Pangos and NBA Top 100. they were lit, I had a blast and learned a lot.
Q: What's your favorite thing to do OUTSIDE of basketball? Any specific hobbies take your time?
CW: Fortnite all day. I love spending time with my little brother who is six and my little sister who is three. Coach Marcus runs my schedule for me, so I knew I would be busy, but he still allows me to rest and be a kid.
Q: If you could go anywhere on the planet, where would you go?
CW: China or Aruba, I hear these spots are must see.
Q: Aruba is something else. Basketball has taken you a lot of places, where’s your favorite spot you’ve visited?
CW: Hopefully one day I can take my family there that's a goal of mine. And Los Angeles, Miami and Vegas by far.
Q: Excited for college?
CW: Yes, I'm ready for the challenge, but not ready to choose one. It's nerve-racking trying to pick one school.
Q: What’s MOST important to you when picking a school?
CW: Relationships, style of play and immediate impact.
Q: What sport would you be playing if basketball wasn't around?
CW: Skateboarding was my first love before basketball.
Q: What's your dream job outside of hoops?
CW: Sports commentator.