The Ottumwa Courier


February 27, 2013

Walker set to sign with William Penn

OTTUMWA — After having a solid senior basketball season, Austin Walkers’ compass is pointed towards Oskaloosa.

Walker, who ranked second on the Ottumwa basketball team in scoring, will continue his basketball career at William Penn University in Oskaloosa. He is set to sign with the Statesmen on Friday.

“I worked out with the coaching staff over the summer and it felt like home to me,” Walker said.

The Bulldog forward provided his team with a steady supply of points, steals and leadership in his senior campaign. His leadership and unwavering perseverance revealed itself after some games when, just 20 minutes removed from a loss, Walker — along with sophomore teammate Carter Burns — could be found practicing their shots at the Evans Middle School basketball court as the remnants of what that night’s crowd had left behind was being picked up.

Hard work is Walker’s modus operandi. Former Ottumwa boys coach Chris Gravett said the Bulldog forward spent a lot of time honing his skills in the offseason. Some of this extra time was spent in Oskaloosa working out with some of William Penn’s players, the coach said.

Walker more than doubled his scoring average  from the previous season, going from about four to 10 points a game.

“I definitely think my hard work in the offseason paid off this year and I’m going to continue to prepare for next season,” Walker said.

He said he will work to gain more confidence in his shot in the offseason. In addition, Walker also will focus on increasing his quickness and strength.

Walker played an important role in Ottumwa’s two victories this season, pouring in 19 points in the Bulldogs 70-67 overtime victory over Fairfield and compiling 13 points in the Bulldogs 63-61 double-overtime triumph over Des Moines East. Walker also posted 19 points in a loss to West Des Moines Valley.

Walker’s showed consistent improvement throughout the season. In the first few weeks of the season it wasn’t uncommon for Walker to only three points in game, but towards the ends of the season he regularly posted scores in the lower and upper teens. A key intangible to his success is his ability to score from anywhere on the court. Walker sticks in put-backs off rebounds; drills mid-range jumpers, whether they be set shots or shots off the dribble; finishes fast breaks; and buries 3-pointers. He trails only Burns in shots made from beyond the arc with 22 on the year. He would have been Ottumwa’s 3-point leader if Burns hadn’t put on a 3-point clinic — the sophomore Bulldog finished with a season-high 33 points and six 3-pointers — in what turned out to be the Bulldogs final game against Cedar Rapids Jefferson in the regional quarterfinals of the Class 4A Substate Tournament.

Walker also was at the vanguard of much of Ottumwa’s defensive success. He had a knack for stealing passes that initially looked  risk-free. Walker used this knack to accumulate a team-high 20 steals this season. The Bulldog also grabbed about five rebounds a game and dished out 21 assists.

Walker will join a Statesmen team that is  currently in the midst of an incredible season. The NAIA Division II team boasts a stupendous 30-1 record, which has netted it a No. 1 ranking in the nation.

“I wanted to play for a good team and compete for a national championship and with them as No. 1 I think it’s possible,” Walker said.

 The Statesmen, who ascended to the top spot three weeks ago, are a perfect 12-0 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference along with being the conference tournament champions. William Penn hopes to cap off its season with a successful run in the NAIA Division II National Tournament in Point Lookout, Mo.

With six Statesmen graduating after the season, Walker hopes to play well enough to play for the varsity team.

Text Only
  • Flanders wins third-straight 400 for OHS URBANDALE -- Another meet and another 400-meter dash win for Ottumwa's Charlette Flanders. The Bulldog senior picked up her third-straight win in the one-lap race around the track on Thursday at Urbandale's Chuck Silvey Invitational. Flanders placed

    April 17, 2014

  • MSAE boys shut out Iowa City West IOWA CITY — The Fairfield Maharishi boys' tennis team picked up an impressive early-season shutout on Thursday, scoring a 9-0 win at Iowa City High. "From top to bottom, it was the team's best performance of the season," said MSAE head coach Steve Br

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Abbie Budan photo Bulldog linksters take third in Marshalltown MARSHALLTOWN — The Ottumwa girls golf team turned in a admirable performance Thursday, capturing third out of 14 teams at the Linda Bloom Invitational with a collective score of 377 strokes. "I think we played well pretty much from top to bottom," Ot

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports boys tennis color photo Ottumwa boys tennis dominates Des Moines Lincoln OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa boys tennis team looked a lot like domination Thursday at Dan Staggs Court, as they shut out Des Moines Lincoln 11-0 in CIML Metro Conference action. "It's early in the season and I can already see our team starting to grow," Ot

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports Marcus Posley photo IHCC's Posley signs with St. Bonaventure OTTUMWA — This past basketball season was one that saw Indian Hills rewrite the record books offensively. Of all numbers that stood out this season, none are more visible then the school-record number of made 3-pointers. Though it only reflects the n

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Packwood Little League Fundraiser to be held PACKWOOD — The Packwood Little League Hog Roast Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Packwood Christian Church. Four teams with over 40 kids participate in the Packwood Little League. The fundr

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Sports Colin Pearson signs IHCC's Pearson signs with San Diego OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College golfer Colin Pearson is headed west to continue his education and golf career. The IHCC sophomore Wednesday signed a letter of intent with the University of San Diego. Pearson is coming off his best finish of

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Sports Area Girls Tennis photo Osky girl netters drop match to Tigers OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa’s Little Hawkeye Conference match with Grinnell came down to the final doubles match on a chilly day in Mahaska County. The Tigers’ duo of Lily Hamilton and Jackie Johnson pulled out the 6-3, 7-5 win over the Oskaloosa tandem of

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Tap Friday College Golf Indian Hills at Buena Vista Spring Invitational (Storm Lake) College Softball Southeastern at Indian Hills (DH), 3 p.m. College Baseball Indian Hills at Muscatine (DH), 3 p.m. Girls Golf Melcher-Dallas at Moravia, 4 p.m. Boys Golf Melche

    April 17, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Mustang Relays Bloomfield 04-15-14 Class AA team scores -- 1. Davis County 160, 2. Fairfield 159, 3. Pekin 34, 4. Keokuk 82. Boys Results Shot put -- 1. E. Adam (P) 50-8, 2. T. Northup (P) 41-6, 3. M. Fritz (FF) 38-7, 4. I. Hougland (DC) 37-4, 5. B.

    April 17, 2014

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints