Pembroke sophomore point-guard John Walters worked his way into a starting position on the Braves’ basketball team this year.
Walters, a 6-0, 165-pounder, was a four year starter on the West Bladen Knights basketball team before graduating in ‘05.
During his senior year at West Bladen, he averaged 13.5 points per game, six assists per game, and four rebounds per game. He was named the Tri Six Conference player of the year his senior season after leading the Knights to a conference championship. Walters was named All Conference in basketball his junior season, and was also an All Conference performer in baseball his senior year.
Last season at Pembroke, he played in 24 games, and shot for a .314 average on the season. He averaged 1.5 points per game, and 0.6 rebounds per game. He tallied 15 rebounds, 11 assists and 10 steals on the season, with a season-high nine points against Francis Marion.
This season, Walters started two games early in the year against Lees-McRae on Nov. 24, and Fayetteville State on Nov. 28. His next start came on Jan. 1 against North Georgia, and through the next 12 games he remained in a starting position.
“John plays extremely hard,” Pembroke coach Jason Tinsley said. “He is a high energy guy and he does whatever he is asked to do to help our team win. These are his greatest assets and the reason he has become a good player in one of the top NCAA Division II leagues in the nation.”
Tinsley went on to say it was Walters’ hard work and dedication that has led to him getting a starting role at Pembroke.
“He is a product of hard work and he’s a role model for young kids who aspire to play at the college level. There are players with more physical talent that will not be as successful because they can't handle the work load that's required. John can handle it, and he is the only player in our program that gets in the gym and works on his game on a consistent basis.”
Walters, who started 15 of his team’s 28 games, played for a total of 645 minutes, and averaged 23 minutes per outing. He was one of only four players who appeared in all 28 games. The 645 total minutes played were the fourth most of any player on the squad.
He shot .340 from the floor and .750 from the free throw line. Walters averaged 3.4 points per game, and had 20 steals and 26 assists on the year.
“As he gets more consistent shooting the ball and learns to be a better driver he will just continue to get better,” Tinsley said.
“I don't think you will find a single person on our team, or for that matter on our campus, that would have one negative thing to say about John Walters. He has been raised the right way, and there is no doubt he will be successful at whatever he chooses to do in life.”