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Ja’Kobe Walter craves playing in the big games for Baylor
Ja’Kobe Walter is finishing out his senior year at Link Academy. (Credit: Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader/USA TODAY Sports)

Ja’Kobe Walter craves playing in the big games for Baylor

BRANSON, Mo. (BVM) — Ja’Kobe Walter stars at Link Academy, one of the nation’s premier prep schools. Despite a roster littered with Division I talent, there is a different feel every time the 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard touches the ball.

A native of McKinney, Texas, Walter is one of the country’s very best. According to 247 Sports, he is the No. 17 player in the 2023 class.

Growing up, his love of the game developed through his father. A regular at his dad’s men’s league games, he started to revolve his life around basketball, just as the elder Walter did.

“Just being around him and being around basketball all the time, I just kind of grew into it,” Walter said. “I don’t remember a time I didn’t play.”

As Walter grew older, his passion for the game grew stronger. 

He joined the AAU circuit and traveled all across the country to become the best player he could be. Walter helped lead his team twice to championship appearances, but both resulted in losses. 

Despite the result, Walter was hooked on the big-game atmosphere. The coming and going nerves, the bigger crowds, the enhanced pressure on every possession. It was something that Walter was built for.

“Just playing in that type of environment at that young of an age really solidified basketball for me,” Walter said. 

Years later, it looks like there will be many more big games in his future.

On June 22, he committed to Baylor University.

 

With Walter and the coaching staff sharing the same ideologies on and off the court, it made all the sense in the world to take his college ball back to Texas.

“They’re big believers in God and me and my family are too, so that was a big factor,” Walter said. “And with the way they use guards and produce them, I think I fit very well in the way they play offense and defense.”

For Walter, being able to sign with a college program was a bit of a surreal moment. 

“I remember when I didn’t have any offers, me and my dad would just talk and he would always tell me that I’m good, to keep working and that I could do it,” Walter said. “Just knowing that my parents won’t have to pay for me to go to college is really special to me.”

Not only is Walter planning on developing more as a player in Waco, but he is also looking to build on his avid reading habits.

A fan of sports books and just books that he can learn from in general, Walter tries to set time aside despite his busy schedule.

“When I get into reading mode, I can read for a good minute,” Walter joked.

Similarly to his desire to read, Walter wanted to continue his improvement in basketball. He became very meticulous about his schedule, set time aside to do what he needed to do, and is now set up for long-term success.

“I just have to get in every day,” Walter said. “I’m looking to get better each and every day.”

As Walter takes his daily approach towards his goals, he is doing everything he can in the gym to accomplish his goals of a national championship at Link and becoming a McDonald’s All-American before he gets to Baylor.

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