Oct. 28, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Junior Jamil Walker has been one of the Broncos main offensive threats since transferring to Santa Clara from the Air Force Academy last year. During his first season with the Bronco program, Walker scored four goals and assisted on three others. Two of his four goals were game-winners, both coming in the USF/Diadora Classic in which he was named the MVP.
This year he has continued his fast-paced play by leading the Broncos in shots taken with 45, and is tied for the team lead in goals with three, and points with six. Two of his three goals have been game-winners, the first coming against James Madison at the Florida International University Umbro Classic. The second game-winner was his first of two goals in Saturday's 3-1 victory over No. 16 Gonzaga.
The junior form Pittsford, N.Y. recently took some time out to answer some questions in an attempt to know the up and coming star a little better.
Q: Has this season been at all frustrating for you, taking all those shots with very few goals to show for it?
A: "I would say it has been a little frustrating. To begin with, goals haven't been coming very easily. We have been getting a lot of chances, we just haven't been putting them away. Our expectations at the beginning of the year were that we were going to do really well. Thus far we really haven't shown it that much, but we still have a chance to win all of our WCC games and make it to the postseason which is all that really counts."
Q: What do you expect the rest of the way from you and your teammates?
A: "Our very best. We've been working really hard and hopefully it all comes together and we are all on the same page when we need to be."
Q: Can you explain at all the difficulties that the team has had putting the ball into the back of the net?
A: "I think it is a little bit of bad luck and some of the injuries that we have suffered through this year. A lot of our forwards have been out this year and I don't think that I have been on perfect form all year as well. I've been in a scoring funk and that is hard to get out of. When we get going with our scoring I think we will be fine."
Q: What is it like playing on the same team as your brother (Rahim Walker)?
A: "It's a lot of fun. It is fun when he gets in because he gets real fired up when he is in and I like playing on the same field as him. It is a real good atmosphere having him around in games and in practice. He is a real hard worker and he always gets on my case so it is nice."
Q: How big of a transition was it coming from New York out here to California by way of the Air Force Academy?
A: "It hasn't been that difficult actually. I am used to change, as I have been moving all of my life. I have lived in Virginia, moved to New York and then coming out here, but it is really like I am at home because my brothers are out here. My older brother lives up in San Francisco so it hasn't been that big of a transition for me. The weather is nicer and the place itself is nicer, but other than that not too big of a transition."
Q: What has your experience been like here at Santa Clara?
A: "Nothing but fun. People are fun, I like the team and they are fun. School itself is hard but its worth it. So far everything has been great."
Q: What do your plans include after Santa Clara?
A: "I don't really know yet (Laughs). Soccer hopefully. I am in computer engineering right now so hopefully that will take me somewhere, but I really don't know right now."
Q: What has your living experience been like here on campus?
A: "The students have been really supportive. They all come out to the games and support us which is great. Pretty much everybody I see knows who I am because of the soccer team. It has been real nice to get the kind of support we do here on campus."
Q: Who is the person you most admire?
A: "It is kind of corny, but I would have to say my Dad. He's been through so much and taught me so much since I have been little. He has just been there for me and I look up to him for that reason and hope to be like him someday."
Q: Do you see the guys on the team remaining friends after the seasons are over here in your career?
A: "The guys are really tight. We always hang out together and do things together like barbecues after the games and what not. I think after the season we will all still remain good friends and we still keep in touch with the guys who come back to finish school or who have moved on. It is really a tremendous atmosphere being around these guys."
Q: How do you think your role will change next year?
A: "Well, I will be a senior next year, so I will be looked up to a lot more by the guys for leadership. Hopefully I can step up to the challenge. I have had a good example this year and last in Jeff Stewart and Keith Burden. All the seniors actually have been good examples. The guidance that they have given to the freshman this year has been invaluable."