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TOPIC: SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday

SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 2 weeks ago #314189

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SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 2 weeks ago #314215

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SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 2 weeks ago #314227

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I would like to learn more about the oath he blazed the difficulties he encountered, and why other than being our first black player. What made him different than say Reggie Carter, who followed his primary career with one in education, at Mineola hs.

Walker historically over the 40 years I've followed sju basketball, was largely ignored by the school.

If there is a story to be told, then it certainly isn't in the forefront of our fans under the age of 70.

Everyone knows what jackie Robinson had to endure. Just 4 years later, in 1951, willie Mays is never thought of as a torch bearer of breaking the color barrier.

Will Walker's legacy and story be raised by sju, or is this just another mostly benign halftime photo session at midcourt?

I did a little research and it all points to the same events- that Walker travelled to Kentucky even though Rupp called Coach McGuire and told him Walker wouldn't be allowed to play. Sounds like it was an empty threat because when McGuire advised to cancel the game, Rupp caved. Other than some physical play that drove Walker from the game with an injury and some catcalls, was without incident.

The other narrative was that Walker turned down an NBA career to teach, and it was the second story repeated over and over again, along with the Kentucky story. It appears to be a false narrative, since Walker was drafted in the 7th round, which typically indicates little possibility of a pro career.

Walker may have had a much bigger impact (aside from being a mentor and school teacher), but if that's true, it would be really great if those writing about him had done a little more inspection of his time at St. John's (he alluded to not being comfortable as a student), the racism he faced walking into any arena or onto any campus (if it existed to any great state), etc.

If Walker is truly an icon to look up to, then the St. John's community is doing him a disservice with the narratives already presented. If we are to honor him beyond being the 1st African American player, then a more accurate historical introspection can be woven from those he played with or against, contemporaries, and those he mentored.

I did review NY Times articles, and a piece written in the Torch interviewing Mel Davis. Both left a lot to be desired. Perhaps Gus Alfieri or Richard Lapchick could do a better job at piecing together a more accurate biography which could give more gavitas to honoring him.

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SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 1 week ago #314252

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Dr. Carl Fields, Class of 1942:

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SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 1 week ago #314256

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jerseyshorejohnny wrote: Dr. Carl Fields, Class of 1942:


Thanks JSJ. I think you understand my point. We have some amazing alumni or all ethnicities and races. When we honor some of the best and brightest, we should be prepared to articulate to the community at large exactly why they should be honored and emulated. I gather Walker was a great man worthy of our respect and honor, but we have to do a better job, especially for our students, to document and communicate his story, honestly and without creating a myth.

In Walker's case, it may be irrelevant if he was not NBA caliber, or perhaps there is a story as to why an NBA caliber player was drafted in the 7th round - perhaps bias or a quota system to sign a very small number of minority players. It would then tell a story of how, while the color barrier was broken in the NBA, it was a trickle and not a floodgate of African American players that followed.

More significant than his playing days, real anecdotes of people whose life trajectory was changed because of Walker. Maybe college degrees, or better husbands, wives, or parents, maybe saved from drugs or crime or the streets. Greatness generally has many great stories attached to it.

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Last edit: by Beast of the East.

SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 1 week ago #314269

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As you may be aware, Mel Davis came to St. John's because of Solly
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SJU to Honor Solly Walker on Saturday 2 months 1 week ago #314280

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jerseyshorejohnny wrote: As you may be aware, Mel Davis came to St. John's because of Solly


Was not aware of that. Loved the "Killer". Thank you for passing this along as I am an information junkie.

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Last edit: by RJGBOOTSY.
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