02/18/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/18/2021 09:10
There is no question that Kenny 'Sky' Walker is the top basketball player to ever come out of Crawford County and Roberta and one of the best players ever in the State of Georgia. The 6'8 forward led the Crawford County Eagles to back to back State AA championships in 1981 and 1982. As a high school junior, he averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds a game, and as a senior averaged 24 points and 18 rebounds. He was named Georgia's 1982 Mr. Basketball and played in the McDonald's All America game.
His success in high school attracted just about every top collegiate program in the country including perennial national power in Kentucky where he would cast his fortunes. After arriving in Lexington, he did not disappoint. He was a 4-time All-SEC selection, a two time All American and the SEC Player of the Year both his junior and senior seasons after averaging 22.9 and 22 points respectively. He helped lead the Wildcats to the NCAA Final 4 in 1984 where they lost to eventual National Champion Georgetown. Walker is the Wildcats all-time leader in free throws and attempts connecting on 550 of 733 and is second in all-time scoring with 2,080 points which is second to Dan Issell who has 2,138. In the 1986 NCAA tournament, he set a record by making 11 of 11 field-goal attempts. His number 34 jersey was retired by Kentucky and it hangs in Rupp Arena.
Following his Kentucky career, he was selected by the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA draft as the number five overall pick. He spent five seasons with the Knicks playing for five different coaches in his five years in the Big Apple. He then played in Spain and Italy for two seasons before returning to the NBA with the Washington Bullets for two years. He ended his career playing in Japan during the 1996-97 season after recurring knee injuries forced him to hank up his sneakers. The highlight of his professional career was winning the NBA Slam Dunk Competition in 1989 when he defeated NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler. He would finish 3rd in that competition in 1990. As an NBA pro, Kenny scored 3,128 points for a 7.0 per game average and collected 1,793 rebounds for a 4.0 per game average.
Kenny Walker was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.