Lonnie Walker to deliver 300 pairs of shoes to hometown Blacktop Basketball League
Lonnie Walker, the 18th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, just had his dreams come true. Even before playing his first official NBA game, the 19-year-old is giving back to his hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania — the place where he spent his formative years.
As reported by Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle, Walker helped in delivering 300 pairs of shoes to Reading. Prior to being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, Walker actually signed an endorsement deal with Adidas. And together with former teammate Eric Wise, they delivered shoes to Reading’s Blacktop Basketball League.
Walker said that this is bigger than basketball, via his Twitter:
Bigger than basketball 🤘🏾 https://t.co/l2obhAKo2T
— Lonnie Walker IV (@lonniewalker_4) July 16, 2018
Despite being the 18th overall pick, much is expected from Walker. After all, the Spurs have built a reputation of developing their prospects to all-star caliber players. The likes of Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker are very good examples.
But now, Walker’s focus seems to be giving back to the community. He has spoken at length about Reading, the grinding poverty that he endured growing up. Now that he’s passed all that, he has nothing but gratitude. Per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press via KSAT, Walker said:
“Survival by the fittest was the strategy growing up. Splitting a cheeseburger for dinner. Chips for breakfast. Not knowing where I will sleep the next day. Living with 10 plus people. Waking up in the middle of the night because your house got shot up. Who would’ve thought at the age of 19, I’m alive and healthy and just got my first apt. Who would’ve thought that this kid from Reading would make it out. No one understands my struggle and my pain.”