Life changed instantly for Bill Walker when his named was called this summer in the NBA Draft. Tonight the 21-year-old rookie from Kansas State will join the Boston Celtics to watch them raise the 17th banner to the rafters and receive their world champion rings. As Walker tells us, a ring ceremony is leaps and bounds from where he was this time last year …
Where were you on Opening Night last season?
I was in Manhattan, K-State, probably practicing. It’s about the same time but different levels. I think it’s harder here, though, preparing for a season than it was there.
Take me through the day leading up to your first game at Kansas State.
Get up, probably have class from 8 to 12, you go to study table, knock out all the homework. Usually I’d just go home, get dressed for pre-game, come in for shootaround, and I’d usually stay in the gym and wait for game time.
Must be nice not having study table this year.
It’s a relief but it’s a job now so that’s basically how I go about it. It’s an all day thing. I’m in here, shoot around, go home, rest up, and prepare for the game.
This season you don’t have to go back to a dorm either. How is it living away from campus?
It’s private, more personal. But I don’t know. I kind of miss just knocking on somebody’s door and starting up a conversation.
Talk about motivation
What do you miss the most about living with your college roommate, the Miami Heat’s Michael Beasley?
I always had something to laugh at in the morning. From something we did yesterday or something we were going to do that day, I always had somebody to laugh at.
How did living with a potential number one draft pick push you to compete?
Oh man, we competed at everything. On the basketball side, out of basketball, video games, we competed in every thing. Everything was a competition. It teaches you a lot about yourself though. Especially when you go up against somebody that’s just as competitive as you are and he’s skilled in the same manner you are, that really challenges you.
So who was the messy one and who was the clean one?
You know what they say about boys, (laughs) we’re not really neat at all.
How do you expect Opening Night at the Garden to compare to the excitement of your first game at Kansas State?
Especially playing for the Celtics just coming off of a world championship and they’re going to raise the banner and get their rings, you can’t get any better than that so I’m pretty lucky.
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