Lonnie Walker IV stood out on and off the court at the NBA Draft Combine, which ended on Sunday in Chicago.
The former University of Miami basketball star, who left after his freshman season, finished Top 10 of 56 players in all three speed categories and Top 15 in the two jumping drills. He finished second to Syracuse’s Tyus Battle in the shuttle run in a time of 2.86 seconds. Walker was third-fastest in the three-quarter-court sprint in 3.06 seconds, and ninth in the lane agility time (10.87 seconds).
His maximum vertical jump of 40 inches ranked 11th and his standing vertical jump of 31.5 inches ranked 15th.
Walker, always a good interview with the Miami media, seemed at ease with the reporters gathered in Chicago and said he felt he did well in the 1-on-1 meetings with NBA executives.
“My interviews went great, above average,” he said in the press briefing. “People are finally getting to see who the real Lonnie Walker is and get my perspective on life. It’s been amazing. I feel like a little kid, like I’m in Disneyland.”
Among the teams he met with: the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, and Philadelphia 76ers. He said meeting Elton Brand, a 76ers player development consultant, was a thrill. Walker is projected to be picked somewhere between No. 12 and No. 20 in the June 21 NBA Draft.
A story in the Los Angeles Times, said Miami guard Lonnie Walker IV impressed Clippers’ management.
“He [Walker] even mentioned how impressed he was with Clippers consultant Jerry West, coach Doc Rivers and owner Steven Ballmer during the interview with the team.
“Walker, who is only 19, was asked what he knows about West.
“My father is old school and also going to Miami, Coach [Jim Larranaga], he's very old school so you tend to know about people like them," Walker said, smiling. "But it was great talking to [West]. He was very laid back. He talked to me about a lot of things, but he also taught me a lot of things. Just telling me how to prepare for the NBA. Even if I wasn't to go to the Clippers, just how to present myself as a man and how to be ready for the challenges that I approach.”
Walker also told the Clippers about his plans after basketball.
“Once this is all said and done — basketball is a temporary sport — I plan to help the world,” Walker said. “I want to make a difference and change everything. And if it's going to Africa, building schools, building hospitals, that's what I'm going to do. I want to help people. I want to change this place and make a difference in life.”
Jason Quick, who works for NBCSports Northwest, Tweeted this about Walker: “Miami shooting guard Lonnie Walker just blew away the media with his interview session. Reminds me of how Donovan Mitchell handled himself at last year's combine. Very, very impressive.”
Meanwhile, UM’s Bruce Brown, who declared for the draft after his sophomore season, tied for sixth place with a standing vertical leap of 32.5 inches and was 16th in the maximum leap at 38 inches. Brown did not do as well on the speed/agility drills. He was 23rd in lane agility (11.1 seconds), 33rd in the three-quarter-court sprint (3.20 seconds), and 52nd in the shuttle run (3.43 seconds).
Brown is coming off foot surgery, which kept him out of the final 13 games of the season. Brown's 3.75 percent body fat percentage was second-lowest at the Combine. He was measured at 6-3 and 194.6 pounds.