Our newest Cardinal Rewind comes on a very appropriate day. As UofL and UK are an hour from tipping off, this Rewind is from Samaki Walker. As a Freshman against UK, Samaki posted a triple double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 blocks. He spoke with us here at CSZ, and told us about his days as a Louisville Cardinal.
CSZ: What made you choose to play your college ball at Louisville?
Samaki: The reason I chose Louisville over any other school was that I believed in Denny Crum and his coaching abilities. Having a great visit didn’t hurt the recruiting process either, and the fact that Cliff Rozier was leaving and it was the perfect fit for me.
CSZ: How was Coach Crum, what did they teach you about the game?
Samaki: Coach Crum was the ultimate teacher and believed in details. If there is one thing that sticks out in my mind about the many things Coach Crum has taught me, it is to use the back board and he was indeed a firm believer in that. Because he was a firm believer in the high post offense, I really became comfortable facing the basket at that position, which helped my career tremendously.
CSZ: What was it like to have a packed house of Cardinal fans rooting you on?
Samaki: Having over 19,000 screaming UofL fans is like being at a Lakers game. It was always exciting to see who was there and chat with the season ticket holders on the lower level just before tip off. It is without question that (the state of) Kentucky is basketball heaven, and seeing 19,000 fans all pumped up on New Years and beating the Kentucky Wildcats ranks right up there with winning an NBA Championship with the Lakers.
CSZ: What memory stands out the most to you about your time at Louisville?
Samaki: The memory that stands out the most for me is the win over the Kentucky Wildcats on NewYear’s Day, which is still one of the most memoriable times of my life.
CSZ: What do you think about the current team, think they’re poised for a big year?
Samaki: The current team, I believe, has the talent to win it all and is definitely an up tempo team that is not only good, but exciting to watch. Playing on a pretty exciting UofL team myself, I can appreciate the energy that they play with. It won’t be an easy task but definitely one that this team can accomplish without question.
CSZ: What was overall your favorite thing about the University of Louisville?
Samaki: My favorite thing about attending UofL is that it couldn’t have been in a better city and I mean that sincerly. The city of Louisville is what makes the university feel like home, in which people welcome you with that southern hospitality feeling and it seems to be contagious. I had some of the best times of my life in that city!
CSZ: If you could say one thing to CardNation, what would it be?
Samaki: If I could say one thing to Card Nation, it is that I will definitely be tuned in this New Years to see the biggest game of the year! I know that Card Nation will definitely be representing come game time.