Gauchos add Culver City guard to latest recruiting class

Aamahd Walker, a 6-foot-2 guard from Culver City High School has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UC Santa Barbara, head coach Bob Williams announced Thursday.

Walker is the fifth high school senior to sign with UCSB as he joins four others who signed during the November signing period.

“He is a long, athletic player and a natural scorer,” Williams said of Walker. “Aamahd can create his own shot and can really defend. He is a very good piece to our puzzle.”

As a senior in 2011-12, Walker averaged 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 3.0 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game. He shot 46% overall, 33% from three-point range and 76% from the free throw line. Walker scored a career-high 33 points in a win over Beverly Hills High School and had 25 or more six times. He also had a season-high six steals on four occasions and highs of 12 rebounds against Morningside High School and six assists against Hart High School.

Following his senior campaign, Walker was named Second Team All-CIF and First Team All-Ocean League.

As a junior in 2010-11, Walker averaged 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 3.7 steals per game. He had a career-high nine steals in a game against Irvine High School and eight games with six or more. In his sophomore season at Culver City, Walker averaged 11.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.2 steals per game. He also had a nine-steal performance that year against Mira Costa High School.

Walker will join 6-foot-4 guard Michael Bryson (Foothill HS/Sacramento, Calif.), 6-foot guard Dalante Dunklin (Francis Parker HS/San Diego, Calif.), 6-foot-8 forward Mitch Brewe (Seattle Prep/Seattle, Wash.) and 6-foot-10 forward Sam Beeler (Poway HS/Poway, Calif.) as incoming freshmen for the Gauchos.

In addition to the five true freshmen, UCSB will return three redshirt freshmen in 6-foot-5 guard John Green (Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix/Oakland, Calif.), 6-foot-8 forward Taran Brown (Campbell County HS/Gillette, Wyo.) and 6-foot-1 walk-on guard Duke DaRe (De La Salle HS/Clayton, Calif.). The Gauchos will also have three sophomores returning to the fold.

“We realize that we will be very inexperienced in terms of collegiate experience next year,” Williams said. “But we’ll have lots of successful high school experience to draw from. Each of the freshmen had outstanding high school careers and experienced a great deal of success.”

Williams is unfazed by the likelihood of coaching a team that will include eight freshmen and three sophomores.

“I think it’s exciting,” he said. “If you have a choice, you’d rather coach young and talented than veterans who aren’t as talented. That’s what we’ll be, young and talented.”