TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – M.J. Walker, a 2017 McDonald’s All-American who averaged 27.8 points and 6.5 rebounds as a senior at Jonesboro (Ga.) high school, has signed to attend Florida State University and play basketball for head coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff. The addition of Walker to Florida State’s 2017 recruiting class gives the Seminoles their fourth consecutive top-12 ranked recruiting class.
Walker (6-5, 205) is the 12th McDonald’s All-American to sign with Florida State. He won a gold medal as a member of Team USA at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship during the summer of 2016. An outstanding AAU player, he averaged 20.7 points for the Atlanta Xpress AAU team during the spring and summer of 2016.
Walker is considered to be a tough player who attacks the basket and finishes through contact, and who shoots well from the outside.
“MJ is a welcome addition to our roster,” said Hamilton. “He has been acknowledged as a scorer but he is a complete player who excels on both ends of the court. MJ has a very high basket IQ that will allow him compete at this level immediately.”
Walker is ranked as the nation’s 22nd best prep player, the fourth ranked shooting guard and the No. 3 ranked prospect in the state of Georgia by 247Sports. He led Jonesboro to a 110-16 record (.873 winning percentage) and to a pair of state championship titles during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Walker also led Jonesboro to a third consecutive appearance in the state of Georgia Class 6A State Championship game during his junior season.
Walker scored in double figures in each of his 29 games as a senior with 30 or more points coming 11 times and his career-high of 41 points coming in a 59-57 win over Jemison (Ala.) high school on December 17, 2016. He shot 51 percent from the field and 39 percent from the 3-point line as a senior. Walker is the all-time leading scorer in Clayton Country history with 2,663 points. He broke the record previously held by Seminole great Toney Douglas when he played at Jonesboro.
Walker was named the Class 4A Player of the Year in the State of Georgia in 2015. He averaged 17.3 points per game and scored 22 points in Jonesboro’s 55-50 win over Liberty Country in the state championship game. He averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists as a junior in leading Jonesboro to a 28-5 record and a third straight appearance in the state championship game.
He earned All-State Second-Team honors by USA Today in 2016, was the 2015 MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year and the 2015 and 2016 Region 4A Player of the Year in the state of Georgia.
Walker played on the victorious West Team in the prestigious McDonald’s High School All-Star game at the United Center in Chicago on March 29, 2017. He scored four points and pulled down four rebounds in 12 minutes of play in the West’s 109-107 win.
“I am very excited to be a Seminole,” said Walker. “I am ready to get to campus and start working with the coaching staff and my teammates who will help me take my game to the next level. My decision to come to Florida State came down to my relationships with Coach Hamilton, Coach Young, the entire staff and all of the players. Florida State felt right for my family and me. I am looking forward to starting me career as soon as I can get down to Tallahassee.”
Walker is an incredible athlete who was a free safety and a wide receiver as a star football player before turning his attention solely to basketball as a sophomore. He was an all-region pick in 2015 and earned scholarship offers from Clemson, Miami (Fla,) and Michigan to play college football.
“We are absolutely ecstatic about M.J. joining the Florida State family,” said M.J.’s father Michael, Sr. “We are truly looking forward to the next chapter in M.J.’s life.”
“M.J. Walker has been a blessing as a person and a player to the Jonesboro basketball program and will be a blessing to the Florida State program as well,” said Jonesboro Head Coach Dan Maehlman. “He has been a true champion both on and off of the court as a role model for his teammates and the student body of our high school. It has been an honor to be his coach and his mentor and watching him grow into the fine young man that he has become has a been a true pleasure.”
Walker chose Florida State over Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech of the ACC, Ohio State and UCLA.