Kemba Walker’s Magical 2011 NCAA Championship Run

Staff Writer Isaac Hanshaw reminisces on the 2011 national championship UConn team that was led by Kemba Walker.

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Kemba Walker and the Big East Tournament

The Charlotte Hornets, then Bobcats, drafted Kemba Walker 9th overall in the 2011 NBA draft. Thriving off what some might call the greatest March run in NCAA history, Walker led the 9th seeded UCONN Huskies to a Big East tournament championship. Beating Pittsburgh with the signature step back, Walker and the Huskies continued the streak and beat Louisville 69-66 in the championship game.

Kemba Walker and the NCAA Tournament

Already defying the odds, Walker didn’t stop there. Getting to the Sweet 16, UCONN beat Cincinnati, and San Diego State was the match-up. The game was even, San Diego State had even built a small lead. Then Jamaal Franklin made a terrible mistake. Jamaal would should check Walker after a timeout and spark the fire that would fuel Walker and the Huskies to the win. At this point some people are starting to take notice. Kemba Walker and the Connecticut Huskies were mesmerizing the college basketball world.

In the Elite 8, Derrick Williams and the Arizona Wildcats pushed the Huskies to the limit. With UCONN up 65-63 with eight seconds left, Williams shot a three and missed. The Wildcats got the offensive rebound and passed the ball to Jamelle Horne, who had just hit a three pointer moments ago. With three seconds left, Horne releases the shot and everyone holds their breath. It hits the rim, bounces off, and the Huskies go on to the Final Four.

Playing against Kentucky, UCONN again escapes with a 56-55 win in a nail biter. The National Championship has been considered one of the worst National Championship games of all time. Butler was up after the first half by a score of 22-19. One thing was for sure, the Huskies had to perform better in the second half to come out the champion, and they did. Walker led the Huskies to a 53-41 win and a National Championship.

Now Walker leads a Charlotte Hornets team that has improved tremendously since he first arrived. This season has been a career year for Kemba, posting a career high in points and field goal percentage. He was also selected to his first All-Star game, which is a tremendous accomplishment, and a deserved one at that. With March Madness around the corner, for any Charlotte Hornet fan, you have to take the time to watch Walker’s magical run.

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