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The local but nationally recognized Zeke Nnaji and Kerwin Walton

October 24, 2018

Kerwin+Walton%2C+junior%2C+goes+up+for+a+shot+in+a+game+last+season.+Walton+is+set+to+start+at+point+guard+this+season+for+the+Royals.
Kerwin Walton, junior, goes up for a shot in a game last season. Walton is set to start at point guard this season for the Royals.

Kerwin Walton, junior, goes up for a shot in a game last season. Walton is set to start at point guard this season for the Royals.

Adam Segal

Adam Segal

Kerwin Walton, junior, goes up for a shot in a game last season. Walton is set to start at point guard this season for the Royals.

Even though Zeke Nnaji, senior, has caught the attention of schools all across the country, he has recently narrowed his list down to five schools.

The schools have collectively won 15 championships and consist of Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Purdue and UCLA.

“It was tough making the top five because I had to call all the coaches that didn’t make it,” Nnaji said. “But it got a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”

After announcing his top five schools in late September, Nnaji is expected to announce his final commitment in November.

During his two years at HHS, Nnaji has always been under the spotlight, but after this AAU season, he exploded onto the national scene.

“I had to build a lot of relationships with other players,” Nnaji said. “Most of those guys have been ranked their whole life.”

Ranked 37th nationally by ESPN’s Top 100 for the class of 2019, Nnaji is ranked as the second best player in the state.

Despite all this attention, Nnaji is still focused on winning this year during his final year of high school.

“I wanted to commit before the high school season so I get the recruiting process over with so I can just focus on playing for Hopkins,” Nnaji said.

Nnaji’s teammate and good friend Kerwin Walton, junior, has also made a name for himself, getting offers from big programs and bringing them to open gym at HHS.

Walton lists his offers as South Dakota, Drake, Baylor, Denver, Kansas State, Purdue, Creighton and his most recent Minnesota.

As Baylor scouts walk in the gym they see a five on five scrimmage between mostly players on the Hopkins varsity team. They spent most of their time talking to Nnaji and Walton afterwards.

Walton’s teammates have noted his strong work ethic and that if he is missing, it can be assumed he is at the gym.

As soon as Walton gets in the gym he does his shooting routine. He doesn’t let the kids throwing up threes around him distract him. Even in the gym after lunch, he still does this routine.

“I learned routine from my dad and it’s stuck with me ever since,” Walton said.

Like Nnaji, Walton is also nationally ranked. He is ranked 144th in the nation by 247Sports for the class of 2020.

“I don’t really care that much about it, there has been plenty of good players that haven’t been ranked high,” Walton said.

Walton’s three point shooting is one of the reasons he gets so much attention but he doesn’t really see himself in any other players.

“I don’t really have any basketball influences because I want to be the first version of myself,” Walton said.

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