The Illinois men’s basketball coaching staff has been busy in Atlanta and NYC with the start of July AAU live periods. While majority of the staff has been in ATL, Illinois assistant Orlando Antigua has been staying in New York watching the Adidas Gauntlet series. Keeping tabs on target Oscar Tshiebwe and looking for new faces that stick out.

Insert Anthony Walker, 6’9 200 pound athletic specimen who makes windmills and between the leg slams look effortless. He is a talented shot blocker with a high motor and mean streak on the court. Walker was a teammate of now Illini freshman Anthony Higgs. Walker is transferring to Brewster Academy for his final season after helping lead Perry Hall (MD) to a second consecutive state title. I caught Up with him about his recruitment and thoughts on reuniting with Higgs

In his own words with Anthony Walker

I asked Anthony what Coach Antigua liked about his game.

He told me “He liked my high energy and high motor that I bring to the game and the fact that I always play hard.”

Wanted his thoughts on Higgs college team offering and if he would consider reuniting with his close friend.

Walker said ” It has felt great practicing with him and playing with him the last two years. We have become really tight and if we end up playing together again, will be something special to watch.”

I was curious who had been recruiting him the hardest and who his top offers were.

Anthony said “Seton Hall, VCU, URI, TCU, UNLV, ECU, SJU, Towson, Umass, St. Bonaventure, Drexel, Buffalo and Illinois now have all offered. Rhode Island has really been on me heavy.”

My final question was where an Illinois offer would fall in his interest.

He said “I definitely have interest in Illinois and may even take a visit there.”

Swami’s Take

While the Illini has top 2 or 3 priorities in big men, it’s no surprise casting a wide net will help land more talented players. As you know nothing in recruiting 16-18 year old’s is a sure bet. Orlando has a great eye for big men, this offer shows Anthony game improving and his versatility being a huge factor. He put up 26 in front of Antigua while showing off his long reach and explosive hops.

Illinois has got some work to do but it can’t hurt having a close friend and former teammate on your team. Expect many more offers for Walker before he chooses his official visits but make no mistake, if Illinois gets one, It has every shot to land Anthony Walker

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