When the University of Manitoba Bison men’s basketball team hits the court this weekend, they’ll have an imported team captain to start the season off.
The Bisons have recruited 24-year-old Stephan Walton to share captain duties with fourth year player Kevin Oliver.
Walton comes from Atlanta, Georgia, where his mother is a respected member of the basketball community. Bison Sports athletic director Coleen Dufresne noticed Walton during a men’s league game down south and reached out to potentially have him play up north with the Bisons.
Walton played last season at Valdosta State University and was named to the Gulf South Conference (GSC) All-Tournament team. The 5’11″ guard scored 21 points in each of the two Blazers’ GSC Tournament contests, and averaged 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
The first year player says he isn’t that surprised by head coach Kirby Schepp’s decision to make him a team captain right out of the gate.
“I’m an older guy, so I’ve been around basketball … I’ve also done a little bit of coaching,” Walton said.
Walton pegs his strengths as being able to push the ball, noting his background in cross country to give him an edge with speed down the court.
“I just like to run.”
Following graduation, the import injured his knee, which he strained while training for the D league in the U.S. He tore his PCL during the first day of workouts, but doesn’t think it will impact him this season with the Bisons.
The Herd opens their season against Alberta on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Investors Group Athletic Centre. The two teams meet again on Saturday at the same time. The Bison women will also welcome Alberta at 6 p.m. on both nights.