SEC Network, the ESPN network devoted to coverage of Southeastern Conference sports, has hired former Kentucky basketball star Antoine Walker (pictured) as a studio analyst for the 2016-17 season.
His on-air debut is set for college basketball’s opening night, November 11. He will be in-studio for the network’s news and information show, SEC Now, alongside analyst Dane Bradshaw.
“Antoine has reached the pinnacle of basketball achievement at both the collegiate and professional level. His unique perspective and knowledge of both the conference and the sport will be an excellent addition to our SEC Now show,” said ESPN senior coordinating producer Tom McCollum.
Walker won the 1996 NCAA National Championship with the Kentucky Wildcats as a freshman under then head coach Rick Pitino. He was also named the SEC Tournament MVP that same season. He went on to be drafted by the Boston Celtics as the sixth pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.
While in the NBA, he was an NBA All Rookie First Team (1997) and a three-time NBA All Star (1998, 2002, 2003). In 2006 he won an NBA Championship with the Miami Heat.
The highly-decorated NCAA and NBA athlete will provide expert analysis as both a collegiate and professional standout in the sport of men’s basketball. He will contribute his expertise in-studio on Fridays and Saturdays during conference season play.
Walker joins a roster of returning basketball commentators that includes: Dane Bradshaw, Barry Booker, Tony Delk, Daymeon Fishback, Kyle Macy and Jon Sundvold. Play-by-play veterans Adam Amin, Richard Cross, Tom Hart, Mike Morgan and Dave Neal also return. In addition to Walker, SEC Network has also recently hired Pat Bradley (Arkansas) and Jarvis Hayes (Georgia) as analysts for the upcoming season.
SEC Network is not the first time rookie-analysts Bradley and Walker have shared screen time. The duo played in the Southeastern Conference at the same time and faced each other twice in the 1996 season. Walker’s Wildcats won at home (Feb. 11, 1996) and in the SEC Tournament Semifinals (March 9, 1996) against Bradley’s Razorback squad. Bradley outscored Walker by three points in the first game, while Walker out-scored Bradley by 15 in the tournament game.
Bradley made his SEC Network debut on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from the 2016 SEC Men’s Basketball Media Days in Nashville, Tenn. Hayes' first game assignment is Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., UMass at Ole Miss on SEC Network.
Photos by Jamie H. Vaught & UK Athletics