Solly Walker Inducted in 2002

Player Inducted in 2002
Solly Walker Solly Walker, Inducted into the NYC Hall of Fame in 2002
Photo credit: (St Johns Athletics)
Solly Walker, was born in South Carolina and moved to Brooklyn as a child, later he played at Boys High School in Brooklyn. Walker then attended St. John's where he in 78 games, scored 573 points and grabbed 496 rebounds during his collegiate career. In 1950-51, Walker led the freshman team to a 17-2 record by averaging 15.1 points per game. He also led the school to the NCAA championship game, the first of the school’s two Final Four appearances.

Walker also was the first black basketball player to break another racial barrier when in 1951 he played in a game against the University of Kentucky on their home court. Prior to that, he was not allowed on the team’s road trip to Lexington, Kentucky because of segregation issues in the south. But St. John’s head coach Frank McGuire brought him there because he was their star player. Coach McGuire protected Walker on the trip by staying by his side, because of the Jim Crow laws and racial issues.

Walker was drafted by the New York Knicks but chose a career with the New York City Board of Education, as a teacher and eventually served as principal of the Manhattan School for the Multi-Handicapped. Walker was a 1993 inductee into the St. John’s Athletic Hall of Fame and was also presented the Trustees Award by the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame.