The New York City Playground Forged His All-Star Ascension

Flash back to the Rivals Class of 2008 high school player rankings and you’ll notice names like B.J. Mullens, Scotty Hopson, Brandon Jennings, Al-Farouq Aminu, Samardo Samuels, Willie Warren, Devin Ebanks, Chris Singleton and Ater Majok, among others, ranked ahead of Kemba Walker.

But on the playgrounds of New York City, those of us connected to the city game knew that he had a chance, despite being undersized, to ride the express lane to college stardom. In the summer of 2006, while working with a remarkably creative team of hoops historians and enthusiasts at Bounce Magazine, our editorial crew grew enamored with the young man’s exploits on the Big Apple’s blacktops. Having just completed his sophomore year at Harlem’s Rice High School, Walker wasn’t a big name within the national basketball consciousness.

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