Walker picks Xavier over NU, others

Former Vanderbilt forward Andre Walker will transfer to Xavier, his father confirmed on Monday.

Walker, a 6-7 and 220-pound forward, chose Xavier over Northwestern, Marquette and Wichita State.

Walker will be able to play immediately because he has graduated from Vanderbilt and will be pursuing a graduate degree at Xavier that is unavailable at Vanderbilt. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

“They’re going to be a good team this year,” his father, Andre Walker Sr., said of Xavier. “He gets a chance to play his natural role, 3 or 4. He considered [staying at Vanderbilt.] I just think he wanted a change of scenery.”

Walker missed a bulk of the 2010-2011 season due to mononucleosis and a severe ankle sprain. He played in 15 games and averaged 3.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists while playing 17.7 minutes. As a sophomore, he averaged career-highs of 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.

Walker, who attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School in the south suburbs of Chicago, did strongly consider staying close to home and attending Northwestern.

“Northwestern was at the top of his list,” Walker Sr. said. “Northwestern was a great situation academic-wise and getting a degree from there. That Princeton offense, he said he didn’t really like it. With one year, you want to really go where it suits and fits you.”

Walker Sr. said 30-40 schools, including Illinois, Kansas, Kansas State and Texas, were among the program that showed interest in Walker over the last few months.