Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Pershing High’s Martez Walker stepped up his game when his team needed him last Friday and helped the No. 1-ranked Doughboys remain unbeaten with a 73-67 overtime victory against Douglass.
“He’s a tremendous scorer and has a very high IQ for the game,” Coach Wydell Henry said of Walker, the Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week. “He’s an all-around player. His refuse-to-lose attitude is why he’s such a great competitor.”
With the Doughboys missing two injured starters, Walker, a 6-5 senior shooting guard, took charge in the second half, scoring 26 of his game-high 36 points and hauling in all 10 of his rebounds after intermission as Pershing (10-0 overall, 4-0 league) fended off upset-minded Douglass to take sole control of first place in the PSL East.
“Fred D definitely surprised us,’’ Walker said. “That was probably our toughest game this season. A lot of it came from us coming out with no energy, no effort and no poise. That’s how we got down in the first place.”
Pershing trailed 54-48 with four minutes left in regulation when Walker began to take matters into his own hands.
“Being a senior, I know what to expect,’’ he said. “Last year, we lost a couple of games that we needed to win. I’m trying not to let that happen again. I don’t care who we’re playing…when they see Pershing they’re going to come at us and play hard. That’s why we’ve got to be ready every time we step on the court.”
The Doughboys expect to be fortified Friday when point guard Kahlil Felder returns to action against Southeastern in a key league game. Felder, who sat out the Douglass game with a hip injury, is Pershing’s other prominent senior and has committed to Oakland University. Although Walker has not committed to a college program yet, he is getting plenty of scholarship offers.
“Martez is going to wait and see what comes his way,’’ Henry said. “Right now, all the mid-majors want him but he’s starting to get a lot of interest from the high majors.”
Walker, whose left-handed trigger makes him a tough player to guard, figures his long-range shooting and rebounding will land him a prime opportunity to continue his education and basketball career. He plans to major in sports management and wants to own his own business.
“Until then, I’m just trying you keep getting better and make my team better,”’ he said. “We have a chance to win the city and state championship and that’s what I’m concentrating on right now. Everything else will take care of itself.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators