Basketball will always hold a special place in Alvin Walker’s heart, but there also comes a moment when it is time to say goodbye.
After months of wrestling with the thought of whether to stay on another season or step down, Walker made his decision official on Monday, opting to retire from his post as Georgetown boys basketball coach.
“I’m not one that likes to half-step,” Walker said. “I thought if I can’t ‘keep it 100’ as the young kids say, it was time to give someone else a chance.
“This is something I had given serious thought about since last school year. Speaking with my wife Teresa, and my top assistant Richard Butts, I thought I could give it another season and maybe let everyone know this was my last hurrah. But there was no reason for that, it would have been selfish on my part if I was doing it for me and not give the kids 100 percent of what I have.”
Walker took over as the Bulldogs’ basketball coach prior to the 2000-01 season. During his tenure, Georgetown advanced to the Lower State 3A title title game once —losing to future NBA journeyman Ramon Sessions and Myrtle Beach in 2003 — along with his teams making the playoffs on several occasions.
He’s been a coach, parent, counselor, mentor and more. His influence spreads well beyond the playing floor. For 16 years, he’s built such a great rapport with the kids, helping them with knowledge of the game and life in general.
Craig Evans, Georgetown High School principal
Prior to taking over at Georgetown, he served as coach at Choppee High and Georgetown middle schools.
“We played big time basketball in big time environments … I could not ask for better,” he said. “Some games we went in as underdogs and came out with wins. That 2003 team really stands out, because they were not necessarily the most talented, but played as one and had the heart to go with it.”
According to Georgetown High School principal Craig Evans, Walker was much more than a voice on the bench.
“He’s been a coach, parent, counselor, mentor and more,” he said. “His influence spreads well beyond the playing floor. For 16 years, he’s built such a great rapport with the kids, helping them with knowledge of the game and life in general.”
The Bulldogs basketball coach was also an asset to members of the faculty, said Georgetown High football coach and athletic director Ken Cribb.
“I’ve always called him ‘Mr. Georgetown,” he said. “He was raised here, knows everyone from here and can answer just about any question about here. Anytime we needed help, he was always there.”
In addition to Walker’s retirement, Butts also will not return this season.
It takes good people being around you, and I have always had good, older people who have had my back. Now, I’m able to give some of that back to the kids of today … I get to share some more of the love I have. I love basketball, but I love kids in general and want to be as helpful in pointing them in the right direction as possible.
Former Georgetown boys hoops coach Alvin Walker
Cribb said a decision as to who will replace Walker as the school’s boys basketball coach has not been made.
Though leaving his place on the bench, Walker will not be difficult to find roaming the halls of Georgetown High School, staying on as an assistant principal.
“Ray White, the public information officer at Georgetown County Schools was a big influence on me coming to Georgetown High,” Walker said. “He told me how much of an impact I could have if I made that move several years ago. I’m appreciative to him for pointing that out to me.
“It takes good people being around you, and I have always had good, older people who have had my back. Now, I’m able to give some of that back to the kids of today … I get to share some more of the love I have. I love basketball, but I love kids in general and want to be as helpful in pointing them in the right direction as possible.”