SAN ANTONIO – No matter how successful he becomes, Spurs shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV will never forget his roots.
This week, he returned to his hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania, to host a free, three-day basketball camp for 300 kids.
"It meant the world to me," Walker told reporters. "There's a lot of kids here, but just being able to impact one kid, two, three, it means more to me than you think. Trying to make a difference, trying to be impactful to as many people as I can, to spread inspiration and positivity to everyone."
Last season, the Spurs drafted Walker in the first round 18th overall. That night, his contagious smile was broadcast all over the country as he posed with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Giving back to his community ranks right there with hearing his name called.
"This is another dream for me. It's kind of like draft day, honestly, if not equal to it," Walker said. "I always dreamed about having my own Lonnie Walker camp and having kids come, but you never know when it's really going to happen. To be able to share this memory with a lot of these kids and for this to be my first camp, it means more than anything else in the world right now."
Walker is a legend in Reading. In 2017, his senior season at Reading Senior High School, he led the Red Knights to their first state championship. That same season, he was named Mr. Pennsylvania Basketball. Kids there idolize him, and Walker eagerly accepts being their role model.
"A lot of these kids growing up, they don't have anyone to look up to, they don't get no motivation or something to make them feel inspired," Walker said. "For this to be at Reading High School, it's a great opportunity to make new friends, see new faces and be happy."
Walker is 20 years old and wise beyond his years. He loves to inspire as much as he loves to play basketball.
"Don't have self-doubt. You can always accomplish whatever you do, as long as you believe in yourself," Walker said.