Nothing hits harder than a good underdawg story. The reason underdogs make history is due to the improbability of their victory. There’s something about the ones who weren’t supposed to make it that always cement into our memory.
Certainly, an individual that forever etched his effort into our minds is Kardiac Kemba Walker. Hailing from the Bronx, NY – Kemba was destined for greatness.
Kemba resembled Simba* in the sense that he is an absolute lion. With his selfless play, he wears his heart on his sleeve and pours every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into the game of basketball.
“He is the light, the truth and the destroyer. No man should go before him unless he wants to be destroyed.”CARL NICKERSON
Bronx Animal Ball
In the Soundview Section of the Bronx Kemba became the beast that he is today. En El Parque de Los Niños – Kemba earned his scrapes and stripes. For those unaware – ballers who braved Soundview hoops stepped into the jungle – where animal ball was played.
While playing in the gritty Parque – it is said that he once scored 80 points without taking any threes. How did he do it? He took it to the rack! How many overtimes? One.
His moonbeam into the NBA was almost an afterthought. After the Watson Classic at El Parque de Los Niños, in crunchtime – the final seconds – gun blast rang through the crowds. Everybody ran. Kemba and his team didn’t finish their playoff run and never returned to that park again.
Paid Dues Can’t Lose
The beautiful part about this individual is the fact that he is a humble student to the game. From breakdancing and doing the Bogle in front of the laundromat all the way to the NBA – this man has never folded on his principles.
Staying solid and paying homage to those that came before him put him in this position to succeed. Above all else, he is an absolute hound on defense and has a stout nose for the ball. He positions his body extremely well to align his hips in a direction that allows him to switch the tempo of any game. Matter of fact – he was so quick that they used to call him E-Z Pass.
The world will never forget the 2011 run where he led his UCONN Huskies to a title. Kemba scored 130 total (prev. record 89 Devendorf Syracuse) as Connecticut won five games in five days to win the Big East Tournament. He also dropped 52 in the 6 overtime game against Syracuse in 2009.
A man that never wavers on his values – Kemba Walker earned his squad a National Championship as a 3 seed. Truly magnificent run.
He recently made his way home to play for the New York Knicks and his banner hangs proudly in the rafters of the Gauchos gym (AAU team)
*The Lion King was based upon a Japanese story – Kimba the White Lion