He was a sleeper. Many didn't know about Kirk Walters, a promising 6-9 1/2, 210 pound center/power forward from South Christian H.S. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until late summer. RivalsHoops.com's Russ Blake came away impressed when he watched Walters play in Las Vegas. Walters did not make the ABCD camp but was invited.
Arizona took notice of Walters' performance over the summer. They got involved, invited him in for a visit, and Walters made his decision over the past 24 hours. He chose the Wildcats. "I like everything about the program," Walters said. "They have one of the best coaches ever. I like the players. I got along great with everyone on the visit. It was just a great visit."
This is a solid pickup for the Arizona basketball program. Walters was a player that emerged over the summer as one of the better big men in the 2003 class. "I want to add some pounds and muscle," Walters told us. "I think I can get up to about 250 pounds. I weigh about 210 pounds now."
Walters chose Arizona over schools like Marquette, Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Walters visited CMU from Sept. 5-7, WMU for Sept. 21-22 and Arizona from Oct. 11-13. His in-home visit with Arizona gave him a good reference point for his visit to the school next month. "Everything went well on the trip," Walters said. "Arizona has always had a great basketball program. I feel I can learn a lot there under the coaching staff."
Walters had a bit of a coming out party at the adidas Big Time Tournament in July with Norm Oden's Michigan Mustangs program. In particular, his mobility and athleticism stood out, and Arizona probably discovered him while recruiting his Mustangs' teammate Brandon Bell (since committed to Marquette).
"I think I will probably play mostly the five spot," Walters said. "But I will also probably play some four. I am working on all my skills but I want to get stronger too."