Hopkins’ four-star senior guard Kerwin Walton will be a Tar Heel, he announced Monday morning, April 27.
Walton, a top-100 recruit in the national Class of 2020 and the fifth-best recruit in Minnesota, chose North Carolina over other suitors including Minnesota, Creighton and Arizona.
Walton told Evan Daniels of 247Sports that he “just had a really good relationship” with North Carolina’s coaching staff, adding that head coach Roy Williams has “seen a lot of legends,” and “knows what it takes just to be successful and play at the highest level.”
“I thought that it was the biggest stage in college basketball, and I think that’s a great place for me to learn and grow,” he said.
The 6-foot-5 wing who helped Hopkins win the Class 4A state title in 2019, and led the Royals to another section title before the state tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Walton is a lights-out shooter and dangerous all-around scorer who averaged 26.4 points a game this season. He also feels his defense and playmaking will be assets at the next level.
Walton is the last of the top-tier talents in this year’s in-state class to sign. None of the eight notable local recruits committed to the Gophers, the latest examples of Richard Pitino’s recent in-state struggles.
Minnesota is putting together a strong spring recruiting class, already adding coveted transfer forwards Liam Robbins and Brandon Johnson. But with Walton signing elsewhere, Pitino’s pursuit of another wing continues.
While North Carolina struggled this past season, going just 14-19, Walton joins a hyper-talented recruiting class that features three top-20 recruits and four within the top 50 in the nation.
“I think that just the amount of talent that’s coming in,” Walton told Daniels, “I think we can compete in the tournament.”