It’s taken Hunter Walker some time to adjust to the rigors of college basketball.
But, it seems, he’s catching on just fine.
The Righetti High School graduate is a freshman on the UC San Diego men’s basketball team and had the biggest game of his college career last Saturday.
Walker, whose brother Cameron is leading Righetti toward a PAC 7 League title, led the Tritons to a 50-34 win over Cal State Los Angeles at the Eagles Nest, scoring a career-best 14 points. It was UC San Diego’s third straight win overall and third consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association victory.
Walker played 21 minutes and hit three 3-pointers. Walker’s versatility, which was also one of his calling cards with the Warriors, was also on display last Saturday. In addition to his game-high scoring output, Walker lit up the stat sheet for one rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal.
The Tritons are now 8-9 overall this season and 7-7 in the CCCA.
Walker averaged over 19 points per game during his senior year at Righetti and was named to the All-CIF Southern Section Division 2AA Second Team during that season. Walker was averaging over 22 points per game before tearing his ACL as a junior.
Walker’s playing time has gradually increased throughout the season. He’s played in 14 games and is now averaging 12 minutes and 3.4 points per contest. He also has hit on 75-percent of his free throws. He adds 12 total rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks and four steals with a total of 167 minutes played. Walker has yet to start for the Tritons.
But if Saturday’s game against CSULA is any indication, those numbers will only trend upwards. Walker helped spark a stagnant UCSD offense which only scored 16 points in the first half, although the Tritons did hold the Golden Eagles to just 10 points in the opening period.
Walker drained a 3-pointer late in the first half to put UCSD up 9-6 and then hit another 3 for a 7-0 Triton run. Walker carried the UCSD bench as it outscored CSULA’s 18-5 in the game. The Golden Eagles only hit 10 of their 51 shots in the game. With 8:05 left in the game, Walker sank two free throws to make the score 38-27 and the Tritons would cruise to the 50-34 victory.
The Tritons’ three-game CCCA winning streak is the first since the 2008-09 season. They next play Friday at home against Homboldt State and host Cal Poly Pomona Saturday at the RIMAC Arena in San Diego.