MEDINA, Tennessee — For someone who doesn’t shy away from the notion that earning a college athletic scholarship is amongst his grandest ambitions, Aalyc Walker thought it necessary to adopt a personal motto, or sorts.
To his credit, it’s one about which many young athletes ought to follow suit.
“My motto is, ‘Put me in coach everywhere I’m needed,” the South Gibson County High wide receiver said.
To get a thorough understanding of why Walker, a junior multi-sport standout, is one who boasts a wealth of passion for sports, look no further than the keen contributions he has made since becoming a product of South Gibson County’s athletic program.
For starters, the 18-year-old athletic phenom has found his niche in a variety of varsity sports, most notably basketball, track and field, and football.
Speaking of football, to his credit, that appears to be the sports about which Walker is aiming to play at the collegiate level, considering he is steadily asserting himself as arguably one of South Gibson’s most efficient and reliable players.
The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Walker was the catalyst of Scott Stidham’s South Gibson team that finished the 2016 season with a 7-4 record capped by a postseason appearance.
Nearly five months removed from what was a pivotal junior campaign, Walker hasn’t shown any signs that he plans to slow down anytime soon.
If nothing else, this vibrant, resilient athlete appears destined to add and upgrade his athletic repertoire, in large part because he knows full well that aside from the lofty expectations he’s placed on himself, he knows he’s being monitored closely.
In a nutshell, for a kid who’s clinging to lofty aspirations of putting his immense athletic skills on display at the collegiate level, Walker realizes that he’s being watched by a number of college scouts and recruiters.
“Everyone dreams to go pro. That’s natural,” Walker said during a recent interview with longtime sports journalist Andre Johnson. “Realistically, I hope to be able to use my God given talents to an education, and later down the road to give back to the community and mentor kids in sports.”
In assessing her son’s overall athletic success coupled with the continuous strides he’s made, his mother, Latoshia Ames, relishes the fact that her son has become dedicated to multiple sports but, most importantly, has developed the mindset to want to fortify success in the classroom.
So much for a once physically challenged kid who has conquered a speech a hear impediment he had as an infant.
“Aalyc has always amazed me since he was toddler,” Ames, a professional surgical assistant, explained. “My oldest was in and out LeBohner (Children’s Hospital), so for the first 18 months of Aalyc’s life, I didn’t notice he had a hearing and speech delay until he was almost three. When I did, I got him (involved with) a speech pathologist and was amazed at his motor skills.”
What was especially astounding, Ames acknowledges, was how well her son has managed to balance academics and athletics, all while defying the greatest of odds, something about which many of peers still battle to this very day.
Fortunately for the young Aalyc, God has a divine purpose for his life, a purpose that, to his credit, has always been wrapped up in the gifts of athletics.
Nowadays, the sky’s the limit for a talented athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of landing a college athletic scholarship.
“Most kids with cognitive hearing loss usually don’t have good balance,” Ames said. “Aalyc was walking running and performing way above his skills level. He also had developed his own way of communicating.”
How else to explain his success as a rising, progressive athlete?
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.