Nick Saban hopes Crimson Tide can learn from Antoine Walker's mistakes
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. _ University of Alabama coach Nick Saban’s list of impressive training camp speakers had a very tall addition last week, former NBA standout Antoine Walker.
“He really focused on the identity of the team,” senior wide receiver Christion Jones said. “To lead this team the leadership has to step up, and focused on what we have to do as a team, and pay attention to the small things.”
But Walker’s primary message had nothing to do with what happens during a game.
Selected by Boston with the sixth-overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, Walker played in the NBA from 1996 to 2008. It’s estimated that he made more than $110 million during his 13-year career, not including some endorsement deals and being on the cover of “NBA Live 99.”
It’s all gone.
Walker, who will turn 38 on Tuesday, filed for bankruptcy and battled felony charges stemming from a gambling debt in Las Vegas in 2010.
He’s the subject of the documentary film, “Gone In An Instant,” and is warning all young athletes about gambling and overspending when they get a big payday.
“He had a lot of great messages, mostly about spending your money wisely, knowing it’s not worth being in the limelight and wasting your money when you get there,” senior guard Arie Kouandjio said. “You work hard all your life to the composition (that’s what I hear him say) where he go to. He reminded us to be wise about it.”
Other speakers during training camp have been former Crimson Tide and NFL cornerback Jeremiah Castille, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent and an expert on domestic violence.