Sam Walters, a highly regarded four-star prospect is now Alabama Basketball’s new Forward. While playing at The Villages Charter School, Sam averaged 24.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. We got to discuss his journey from Florida to Alabama, how he looks at the game and what he expects from his experience with the Alabama basketball organization.
1) Coming from The Villages, Florida, what went into your decision to play basketball at Alabama?
When I was looking for my next step in basketball, it was important for me to have a good relationship with the coaches and make sure that their play style fit my game. Alabama was perfect for that, they like to play fast and shoot 3s and I felt relaxed and at home with Coach Oats and all the coaches.
2) What ways do you think you can impact the team knowing that you can score off the dribble or make plays if need be?
Scoring off the dribble and looking for ways to make plays is definitely one way I feel that I can impact the team but I also make it a priority to play hard on both ends of the court, grabbing rebounds, staying low on defense and talking on the court are also important pieces of my game.
3) There have been several players in your position that have made a great impact in the NBA, if any, which player(s) do you watch clips of and model your game after?
I like to watch Kevin Durant because he is a tall wing that can dribble and get to his spot easily. I have recently started watching Franz Wagner because a lot of people believe our games are similar. He is also a tall wing that is very versatile.
4) Who/what would you say influenced your love for the game?
I have always loved basketball - I cannot even remember when I fell in love with it, it's always been there! However, when I think of players that inspire and motivate me, Kobe is the first on the list. He is inspirational because of his mentality, focus and love of the game.
5) Who has been your biggest source of inspiration, be it sports or other aspects of life?
I would say that my biggest inspiration is my mom because she raised 2 kids on her own and taught me the value of never giving up. She is always saying "everyone's life is full of ups and downs so focus on what you can control which is effort and attitude."
6) With Brandon Miller, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA draft coming out of Alabama, surely this puts more spotlight on players from the area, how do you handle the pressure that comes with trying to make it to the league?
Brandon is a great player and he had a phenomenal freshman year at Alabama. But when it comes to pressure, I just have to run my own race. I trust the process, the coaches and staff at Alabama. All I can do is continue to work as hard as I can.
We want to wish Sam best of luck during his first year at Alabama and thank him for taking time to answer our questions. Also thank you to Layden Williams at LIFT Sports Management for coordinating the article.
Editor: Josh Bhagratie (@jshyb_)