March 25, 2024

Former Villages Player Sam Walters Makes NCAA Sweet 16 with Alabama

1.7 min read| Published On: March 25th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Former Villages Player Sam Walters Makes NCAA Sweet 16 with Alabama

1.7 min read| Published On: March 25th, 2024|

Sam Walters has been such a joy to watch this season. The freshman is having an amazing year on the Alabama Crimson Tide team that will head to the NCAA Sweet 16 later this week, where they will face off against the University of North Carolina, ranked as the #1 seed in the West Region.

Walters has been getting the chance to learn but also the chance to experience success at college basketball’s highest level. Players like Mark Sears, who had 26 points last night, Grant Nelson, Nick Pringle, and Mouhamed Dioubate, have all come on strong down the final stretch of the season.

(Photo Credit – University Of Alabama)

Sam Walters is averaging about 12.4 minutes per game. That’s very good for a freshman, especially on the quality of team that Alabama put out this season. Walters averages 5.7 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is also one of the best free-throw shooters on the team. While he might not have the numbers of Mark Sears, Grant Nelson, or Rylan Griffen, Walters is making a name for himself.

Walters is gaining valuable playing time in tournament play, and he is having an impact out there on the floor. This time last year, Walters was just finishing his season, having brought The Villages to their first and to date, only State Championship appearance.

While Tre Mann became the second professional basketball player that The Villages ever produced, he did become the first drafted to the NBA. However, Mann never made a Sweet 16 appearance during his time with Florida. The closest they came was the Round of 32. Mann only played 2 years with Florida before entering the NBA Draft, being selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Mann now plays with the Charlotte Hornets.

(Sam Walters stands with Villages resident Thomas Bore who is a big fan of Sam Walters during a game last year.)

This has been such a joy for family members, friends, teachers, and the community to join together to root Sam on. While his journey is just beginning, the question will be how far Alabama as a program can go this season. This is a special team. With a date against The University of North Carolina on Thursday night at 9:39 pm on CBS, we hope that you tune in and watch this team.

We wish Sam Walters and the rest of Alabama the best of luck. They will certainly need a good game plan as they play one of the top teams in the tournament.

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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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