Strong performances have become the norm on the AAU circuit this summer Harper Woods (MI) Chandler…
Derrick Walton finishes AAU "with a bang"
Walton has elevated himself into one of the elite point guards in the country in the class of 2013, lead by an uncanny and superior ability to find the open man while spectators and coaches alike may wonder how he fed the ball into such a tight spot.
"My dad was a really good point guard so that's a skill I had to have," Walton told GoBlueWolverine. "With me scoring, that's a plus, I can score like 25 plus—but more importantly its all about me distributing, making sure my teammates have the ball and are happy, feeding my big men the ball, and doing everything I can to win."
Winning is exactly what the Michigan Mustangs had in mind when they made the trip west to Las Vegas for the Adidas Super 64. Not only could the group of Michigan ballers represent the colleges they're ultimately committed to, it was also an opportunity to prove the State of Michigan is still a hot bed for basketball talent.
"We wanted to leave it all out there and go out with a bang winning it all," said Walton. "This was the last time for us to play together so to do that would be pretty special."
"I take pride in representing the State of Michigan and sometimes people forget about the talent we've got in our state," he said. "Wherever we go we try to represent that Michigan has a lot of good basketball players."
In a contest that pinned the Mustangs up against one of the best teams the State of Florida has to offer, Florida Elite, it was a match-up of two of the nation's top point guards as Walton embraced the challenge of defending five-star Florida commitment Kasey Hill.
"Of course I knew who he was," said Walton. "My mindset was to prove that maybe he's not as good as advertised, so my mindset was just go ahead and play good defense and make sure my team got the win so we could advance in the tournament."
Walton and the Mustangs took care of business with a 40-point drubbing of Hill and Florida Elite, no easy task against the caliber of player that poured in 46 points in one game at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.
With one more victory in the semifinals, the Mustangs were headed to the championship in sin city and a nationally televised showdown with New Heights, a team that prevented 2013 Michigan commitment Zak Irvin and the Eric Gordon All-Stars the opportunity to play on TV in Indianapolis just a few weeks ago.
"It was big," said Walton. "The gym was over flowing for that last game and I just took full advantage of it and were very blessed to have it. Me and my teammates took advantage of it, played with a chip on our shoulder and represented the State of Michigan very well."
Walton, with 16 points and 13 assists in the 84-71 victory, garnered MVP honors to close out his AAU career the way the entire Mustang team had hoped to – as champions.
"I would say in all the AAU experience was great," said Walton. "At times I thought I couldn't play anymore due to fatigue, and I pushed through it—and in the long run it helped me. I'm pretty sure everyone on my team can say that AAU helped them a great deal and if they could they'd do it all over again."
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