Kansas State freshman forward Bill Walker has opted to remain eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft and will forego his remaining three years of college eligibility.
Walker made the announcement on the final day underclassmen had to decide their intentions for the NBA Draft. He becomes the second Wildcat to declare for the NBA Draft, following fellow freshman teammate Michael Beasley who declared his intentions on April 14.
"Bill has always dreamed about playing in the NBA and now he is close to fulfilling that dream," said Martin. "We want to thank him for believing in K-State. He was one of the first players to buy into what were doing here and we will always be grateful. He gave us the confidence and the momentum to go out and start the process of building this program. He will forever be a Wildcat."
Most national observers predict Walker to be an early second round selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, as he is projected as the 31st pick (and first selection of second round) to the Minnesota Timberwolves by www.draftexpress.com and the 40th pick to the New Jersey Nets by www.nbadraft.net. Beasley and Walker could be the first set of Wildcat teammates to be selected in the same NBA Draft since 1982 when three players - Tyrone Adams (3rd round), Randy Reed (7th round) and Ed Nealy (8th) - were drafted.
Walker averaged 16.1 points on 46.5 percent shooting (181-of-389), including 30.7 percent (35-of-114) from 3-point range, with 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game this past season. He ranked second to Beasley in nearly every statistical category, including scoring, double-digit scoring (25), 20-point games (nine), double-doubles (four), rebounding, blocks, field goals, free throws (101) and free throw percentage (73.7). His averages were even higher in Big 12 play, where he averaged 16.6 points on 47.2 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game.