San Antonio Spurs’ rookie Lonnie Walker IV found his own special way to pay homage to his hometown over the weekend by donating 300 pairs of basketball shoes to local hoopers playing in Reading PA’s Blacktop Basketball league. The rookie managed to hand out 30,000 dollars worth of basketball shoes with the help of Adidas executive Eric Wise, who is also native to Reading.
Walker IV was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs as the 18th pick in this years draft class, while many analysts believed he had the potential to be a lottery pick. The 19-year-old played basketball at the University of Miami where he averaged 11.5 ppg, 1.9 apg, 2.6 rpg, and .9 spg while playing in a Hurricanes’ jersey.
When asked about the generous donation, a member of the Blacktop Basketball League’s Board said this:
“Lonnie has been nothing but genuine in being a role model and carrying himself the right way. That’s what he has done from the beginning. He’s everything we knew he would be, in terms of how he carries himself. He’s been nothing but a perfect role model.”
Eric Wise attended Reading High School, which is the same school Lonnie went to, and played basketball when he was younger. Since becoming an executive at Adidas, Wise has advised the company to try and sign Walker IV to be a representative of the brand. In the months before this years NBA draft, Walker IV was signed by Adidas to an endorsement, and its likely Wise had a huge part in pushing for the signing.
Lonnie Walker IV averaged double-digits during the Summer League in Las Vegas, which further strengthens the idea that he can become a solid player in the league. If Walker IV can keep up his high level of play, he will be representing his state and hometown very well in league.