Walker still working on eligibility


The second Florida summer session is a few weeks away. But incoming freshman McDonald’s All-American Florida power forward Chris Walker still has work to do to ensure initial eligibility for the 2013-14 season.

The 6-foot-9 Walker is still taking three academic courses online with the Florida virtual school to finish core requirements, according to his high school coach at Bonifay, Poe White. He also took the ACT for the third time last Saturday.

“He’s improved each time, from 13 to 16,” White said. “So we’re hoping with a higher test score and if he finishes his courses, he’ll be ready to go.”

Asked if Walker would be able to finish his online courses by the time the Summer B session begins July 1, White said: “It depends on how fast he works. They are online courses, but he can get them done by late June, early July.”

NCAA initial eligibility is based on a sliding scale that combines grade point average (in 16 core courses) and test scores. The minimum GPA required is 2.0 while the minimum sum test score in the ACT is 37. Walker’s scores in the ACT reflect just an average score, not a sum score.

White said that Walker is working on individual skills in his native Bonifay but is mostly focusing on academics.

“He’s a little frustrated, but he knows in order to live out his childhood dream that he needs to keep working hard at it,” White said. “If he doesn’t make it, it won’t be for a lack of trying.”

UPDATE: Walker’s ACT sum score (English, math, reading and science) is 64, meaning he would need to finish with a 2.6 GPA in core courses based on the NCAA Division I’s sliding scale.




  1. Coach says it won’t be for lack of trying. Where has everyone been of the 4 years he’s spent in high school???? Another case of poor academics that NO one saw coming. WOW!!! I do wish him well as I want him to be a GATOR, but I wonder if he can handle the class work load in college.

  2. This is good academic training for Walker as well as making him mindful of time management in college. On the other hand, he may tire of school so much that he will not even consider a second year at UF.

  3. I would simply say to him, “You only get one shot at living your childhood dreams.” Time to TOTALLY focus on the academics, and use that as a model for your time at the ‘big school.’ Good luck C.W.

  4. Where were his parents, guidance counselors, faculty, friends, etc… the past two years??? A kid with talent to be a first round NBA lottery pick has to work his tail off in June of his senior year to hope he can get it done??? WOW!!! If he makes it, there is no doubt he’ll be a Gator for one season.

  5. Gatermeone…..

    Walker will only be enrolled in classes at Florida (hopefully) for a short period of time…..and then it is on to the NBA draft. I think the Gator athletic department people in charge of academics will “discover” classes he can take and pass during that time. He is not one of those meant for four years of college….obviously. “He needs a 2.6 GPA” to gain entry…. and is worried about that??? Seriously. But he is nearly ready for the core curriculum offered by the NBA. One and done (hopefully).

    Too bad about Scotty. I thought he was one of those “fundamental Christians” and all……Jesus must not be happy with Scotty, I guess.