March 6, 2024

Alabama’s Sam Walters Surrounded by Love in Florida Gators Clash

2.3 min read| Published On: March 6th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Alabama’s Sam Walters Surrounded by Love in Florida Gators Clash

2.3 min read| Published On: March 6th, 2024|

A big hometown crowd showed up to support Sam Walters as Alabama played against the University of Florida Gators last evening. While Alabama would lose 105-87, Walters felt the love all night long as family, friends, former teammates, coaches, and fans showed up to support the Alabama basketball star who has been enjoying his freshman year.

(Sam Walters always makes time for family and friends. After the game against Florida was over Walters spent time with the 100+ members of family, friends, coaches and fans who came to see him play in Gainesville.) Photo Credit – Heidi Walters

Walters was a former standout for The Villages Charter High School. He was part of the first-ever Villages team to make the State Championship game last year. Due to his incredible play, he earned a scholarship to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Walters is averaging 12.4 minutes played this season. He is averaging 5.6 points, 3 rebounds, and is shooting 43% from the field. He is also shooting 85% from the free-throw line, which is among the highest on the team.

(Sam Walters stands with his mother Heidi Walters and brother Matthew Walters left. Matthew is currently enrolled at The Villages Charter High School.) Photo Credit – Heidi Walters

While this season has mostly been about Mark Sears, Grant Nelson, Aaron Estrada, and Rylan Griffen, Walters has been fun to watch when he is in the game. He has had a very respectable freshman season.

The 105-87 loss against Florida was a tough pill to swallow for Alabama, who came in ranked 16th in the AP Top 25. The final home game for the Crimson Tide will be on March 9th at noon, which will be senior day.

After the game was over, Walters stayed and mingled with fans, family, and others. Everyone was just excited to see Walters play at an SEC level. For many, it was the first time they had seen Walters play since his High School days at The Villages.

(Diane Bore “A resident of The Villages and part of the Buffalo Boosters Club” has been a long time supporter of The Villages athletics and Sam Walters. She showed her team spirit wearing an Alabama Basketball shirt last night.) Photo Credit – Thomas Bore

Fans of Walters, such as Diane and Thomas Bore, attended the game. I get to talk to the Bores from time to time. Diane says, “I love that boy. He is such a great athlete, but he is an even better person. I am a fan of his for life,” says Diane.

That is something that Walters takes with him wherever he goes. He has such a great personality and always makes time for his fans. His mother, Heidi Walters, said, “It was such a fun night. It is a bummer we lost, but I am thankful for everyone who showed up. I honestly think there were well over 100 people there cheering for Sam (Even True Gator Fans), and Sam appreciates them all,” says Heidi.

(Just one year ago Sam was holding the district championship that The Villages won. They would be the first team in school history to make the State Championship game.) Photo Credit – Thomas Bore

We wish Walters and the rest of the Crimson Tide the best of luck in the upcoming SEC Basketball Tournament.

Photo Credit – Thomas Bore, Heidi Jones Walters

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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