Stony Brook welcomed back a former key piece as junior college transfer Ahmad Walker is returning to the Seawolves.
After starting 31 of 34 games as a redshirt freshman for Stony Brook during the 2013-14 season, Walker left the program last summer and played his sophomore season at Barton Community College.
The 6-foot-4 Walker led Barton in points (20.6), rebounds (7.7) and assists (5.5) and joins an already deep Stony Brook team that returns most of its pieces from last season’s America East title game appearance.
In his only season at Stony Brook, Walker averaged 7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game and was an America East all-rookie team selection.
The Seawolves already return two-time America East Player of the Year in forward Jameel Warney and now they’ll have to see if Walker fits back into the starting lineup, or becomes part of a deep bench. With the return of Warney, experienced guard Carson Puriefoy and forward Rayshaun McGrew, Stony Brook was already in position to be on the of the favorites in the America East next season and the return of a proven player like Walker only helps in that projection.
It was never specified why Walker left the program the first time around, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining after his season in the junior college ranks.
Albany’s Peter Hooley to give commencement speech at school’s graduation in May
One of the most powerful stories of the 2014-15 season was that of Albany guard Peter Hooley, whose shot with less than a second remaining gave the Great Danes a win over Stony Brook in the America East title game. Hooley’s heroics came less than two months after the passing of his mother from a lengthy bout with colon cancer, and just over a month after he’d returned to the program.
“It’s an honor for me to speak on behalf of our graduating class,” Hooley said in the release. “I’m looking forward to congratulating everyone on our last four years together, as well as wishing the Class of 2015 the best going forward.”
This is the latest honor bestowed upon Hooley, who also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in March and the school president’s Outstanding Senior Award. While a number of schools bring in public figures for commencement speeches, Albany’s move has the potential to be even more meaningful as the graduates will see one of their own at the podium.
UMBC loses leading scorer for the rest of the season
A difficult season was made worse for UMBC late this week as the school announced that leading scorer Wayne Sparrow would be out the rest of the season after being no longer eligible to play.
According to a report from Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun, the 6-foot-3 Sparrow was unable to matriculate into a particular graduate school program for the spring semester. The new semester began on Monday, so Sparrow is no longer eligible to play. Sparrow was a graduate transfer from Richmond and graduated from the A-10 school with a degree in political science before becoming a Retriever this season.
Sparrow was averaging 13.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game and started all 20 games for UMBC before being ruled ineligible. His name has already been removed from the team’s roster on the UMBC men’s basketball page.