Thomas Walkup

Last updated

Thomas Walkup
No. 0Žalgiris Kaunas
Position Shooting guard / Point guard
League LKL
EuroLeague
Personal information
Born (1992-12-30) December 30, 1992 (age 26)
Pasadena, Texas
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight203 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school Deer Park (Deer Park, Texas)
College Stephen F. Austin (2012–2016)
NBA draft 2016 / Undrafted
Playing career2016–present
Career history
2016–2017 Windy City Bulls
2017–2018 Riesen Ludwigsburg
2018–present Žalgiris
Career highlights and awards

Thomas Ryan Walkup (born December 30, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League and the EuroLeague. He played college basketball for Stephen F. Austin State University. Walkup was named Southland Conference Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons (2015 and 2016). Before playing at the college level, he attended Deer Park High School in Deer Park, Texas. Walkup is a native of Pasadena, Texas.

Basketball Team sport

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

BC Žalgiris Lithuanian basketball team

Basketball Club Žalgiris is a professional basketball team that is based in Kaunas, Lithuania, and competes domestically in the Lietuvos krepšinio lyga. Founded in 1944, it is one of the oldest teams in the EuroLeague. Žalgiris is one of 11 European clubs to hold long-term licenses with the EuroLeague, which provides a guaranteed place in the regular-season phase of this league. Since the 2011–12 season, Žalgiris plays its home games in Žalgiris Arena, which was built just before EuroBasket 2011. The club's name commemorates the victorious Battle of Žalgiris. Both Žalgiris and Grunwald translate to "green grove".

Lietuvos krepšinio lyga top Lithuanian mens basketball league

Lietuvos krepšinio lyga (LKL), also known as Betsafe LKL for sponsorship reasons, is the premier professional men's club basketball league in Lithuania. It is composed of 10 teams, and it is a member of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. The best LKL clubs are also annual participants of the top European-wide basketball competitions, including the top-tier level EuroLeague.

Contents

High school career

Born in Pasadena, Texas, [1] Walkup attended Deer Park High School in nearby Deer Park. He was a point guard in his junior season for the varsity basketball team and averaged 10.1 points, 5.0 blocks, 4.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. [2] Walkup also earned all-district honors after helping the Deer finish the season with a 24–11 record. He also lifted them to a bi-district round victory at the Class 5A playoffs. As a senior, Walkup averaged 25.9 points and 8.9 rebounds with Deer Park. [2] In his years with the school, he faced two ACL injuries and a broken foot. [3] [4]

Pasadena, Texas City in Texas, United States

Pasadena is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city's population is 149,043, making it the seventeenth most populous city in the state of Texas, as well as the second-largest city in Harris County. The area was founded in 1893 by John H. Burnett of Galveston, who named the area after Pasadena, California, because of the perceived lush vegetation.

Deer Park High School, located in Deer Park, Texas is a high school serving students from grades 9-12 as part of the Deer Park Independent School District. The school consists of 3 separate campuses: Deer Park High School North Campus, Deer Park High School South Campus and Deer Park High School Wolters Campus, an advanced high school.

Deer Park, Texas City in Texas, United States

Deer Park is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The city is located in Harris County and is situated in Southeast Texas. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Deer Park was 32,010.

In November 2010, Walkup committed to play college basketball at Stephen F. Austin State University for the Lumberjacks. He chose the school because he aspired to compete in the NCAA Division I Tournament and they ran a successful program. [4] Houston Baptist was the only other school that offered him a scholarship. [5] Walkup later said, "There was a reason I didn’t have any other scholarship offers besides those two—I wasn't any good." [5] His father commented on Walkup's recruitment, "I'm sure scouts looked at him and said, 'Well, he's a 6–4 white guy and he can't shoot and he plays the four. And we don't need that.'" [6]

Stephen F. Austin State University Public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, US

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is a public university in Nacogdoches, Texas. Founded as a teachers' college in 1923 as a result of legislation authored by State Senator Wilfred Roy Cousins, Sr., the university was subsequently renamed after one of Texas's founding fathers, Stephen F. Austin. Its campus resides on part of the homestead of Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Stephen F. Austin is one of four independent public universities in Texas.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks basketball mens basketball team that represents Stephen F. Austin State University

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks basketball team is the men's basketball team that represents Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, United States. The school's team currently competes in the Southland Conference. In the 2013–2014 season the men's basketball team had its most successful year so far by going 32–3 in the regular season and 18–0 in conference play. They won 29 games in a row including the conference semi-final and finals and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. SFA repeated the same feat in their 2015– 2016 season by going 18–0 in conference and reaching the second round of the NCAA once again.

Houston Baptist Huskies mens basketball

The Houston Baptist Huskies men's basketball team represents Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas in U.S. NCAA Division I men's basketball competition. Also known as the HBU Huskies, the team is currently coached by Ron Cottrell.

College career

Walkup immediately assumed a big role with the Lumberjacks as the team's sixth man during his freshman season. In 18.5 minutes per game, he averaged 4.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. He recorded a season-best 11 points twice, against Tulsa on November 24, 2012, and versus McNeese State on January 5, 2013. That season, the Lumberjacks won a school-record 27 games, winning their third Southland Conference title of all-time and qualifying for the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). [2]

Sixth man basketball player

The sixth man in basketball is a player who is not a starter but comes off the bench much more often than other reserves, often being the first player to be substituted in. The sixth man often plays minutes equal to or exceeding some of the starters and posts similar statistics. He is often a player who can play multiple positions, hence his utility in substituting often. For example, Kevin McHale, a famous sixth man who played for the Boston Celtics in the 1980s, variably played center and power forward. The presence of a good sixth man is often a sign of team excellence. It usually means that a team has excellent depth, as the sixth man is usually more than talented enough to start for most teams.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane mens basketball

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane men's basketball team represents the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The team participates in the American Athletic Conference. The Golden Hurricane hired Frank Haith from Missouri on April 17, 2014 to replace Danny Manning, who had resigned to take the Wake Forest job after the 2013–14 season.

McNeese State Cowboys basketball

The McNeese State Cowboys basketball team represents McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States. The school's team currently competes in the Southland Conference.

As a junior at Stephen F. Austin, Walkup averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. His teammates began referring to him as "The Snake", after establishing his ability for rebounds, consistently drawing fouls for opposing players, and providing scrappy defense for the Lumberjacks. He was named Southland Conference Player of the Year in 2015. [7]

The Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Southland Conference's most outstanding player. The award was first given following the conference's inaugural basketball season of 1963–64. Five players have won the award two times: Jerry Rook, Larry Jeffries, Andrew Toney, Ryan Stuart and Thomas Walkup. No player has ever won three times.

In the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Walkup scored 33 points in a 70–56 upset over third-seeded West Virginia. [8] He shot 19 for 20 on free throws.

West Virginia Mountaineers mens basketball

The West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball team represents West Virginia University in NCAA Division I college basketball competition. They are a member of the Big 12 Conference. WVU has won 13 conference tournament championships, and has 29 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including two Final Fours, most recently in 2010. The Mountaineers have also appeared in 16 National Invitation Tournaments, and have won two championships, in 1942 and 2007.

Professional career

After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, Walkup joined the Golden State Warriors for the 2016 NBA Summer League. On September 26, 2016, he signed with the Chicago Bulls. [9] However, he was later waived by the Bulls on October 21 after appearing in four preseason games. [10] On October 30, he was acquired by the Windy City Bulls of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player of Chicago. [11]

On August 10, 2017, Walkup signed with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the German Basketball Bundesliga for the 2017–18 season. [12] In April 2018, he was named to the All-German BBL First Team. [13] On June 21, 2018, Walkup signed with Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. [14] Walkup received the LKL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. [15]

Career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage 3P%  3-point field-goal percentage FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

EuroLeague

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPGPIR
2018–19 Žalgiris 341816.4.485.295.8062.62.2.5.05.25.6
Career341816.5.485.295.8062.62.2.5.05.25.6

Personal life

Walkup was born on December 30, 1992 to Lisa and Raymond Walkup brought up in Pasadena, Texas. [6] He has an older brother named Nathan who played as a forward for the Texas A&M Aggies men's basketball team from the 2007–08 season to 2010–11 season. [4] Both players graduated at Deer Park High School and played under Coach Louis Means. Walkup has often been known for his beard, which drew the attention of several media outlets during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. [3] [5] [6] [16] Entering that year's tournament, he had not shaved since November 1, 2015. [6] Walkup claimed that he had been asked to shave it, but he felt that it fit in with Stephen F. Austin's mascot, the Lumberjacks. [3] His appearance has also been compared with Washington Nationals baseball player Bryce Harper. He has also been nicknamed "Fresh Cut" by Gary Dobby. [8]

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References

  1. "Walkup, Underwood Headline SFA All-SLC Honors". Stephen F. Austin State University Athletics. March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Thomas Walkup bio". SFAJacks.com. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Auerbach, Nicole. "Versatile star Thomas Walkup, and his beard, formidable force for Stephen F. Austin". USA Today . Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 Martinez, Jeri. "Walkup commits to Stephen F. Austin". YourHoustonNews.com. ASP Westward . Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 Johnson, Chris. "Unsung Thomas Walkup helping put Stephen F. Austin on the map". Sports Illustrated . Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Russo, Ralph D. "Doing it all: Versatile Walkup, Stephen F. Austin face Irish". Yahoo! Sports . Associated Press . Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  7. "SFA's Walkup Named Men's Basketball Player of the Year". Southland Conference. March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  8. 1 2 Bontemps, Tim. "SFA's Thomas Walkup is going viral … as Bryce Harper look-alike". The Washington Post . Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  9. "BULLS FINALIZE TRAINING CAMP ROSTER". NBA.com. September 26, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  10. "BULLS WAIVE AVILA, SMITH-RIVERA AND WALKUP". NBA.com. October 21, 2016. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  11. "Windy City Bulls Select Four Players in 2016 D-League Draft to Complete Training Camp Roster". NBA.com. October 30, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  12. "Thomas Walkup verstärkt die MHP RIESEN". MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg (in German). August 10, 2017. Archived from the original on August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  13. "Prasideda naujojo sezono darbai – į Kauną atvyks universalus gynėjas T.Walkupas (VIDEO)". zalgiris.lt (in Lithuanian). June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  14. "LKL sezono uždaryme – Š.Jasikevičiaus, E.Ulanovo ir "Žalgirio" triumfas". 15min.lt . Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  15. Schwartz, Paul. "Meet the red-bearded upstart who knocked out West Virginia". New York Post . Retrieved March 20, 2016.