Up Close & Personal With Jamil Walker
Sept. 12, 2000
Sophomore Jamil Walker (Rochester, N.Y.) transferred to Santa Clara from Air Force and has been the Broncos' deadliest scoring threat. Named Tournament MVP at the diadora Classic last weekend at the University of San Francisco, he has scored a goal in each of the three matches SCU has played this season. He started his first contest of the season against Cal Poly after coming off the bench in the first two matches.
Q: Talk a little about how you got started playing soccer.
A: "I lived in (Herndon) Virginia for 11 years. Soccer is pretty big there. My dad played soccer and my mom also played. So, since I was five years old my brothers and I played all the time. I was born in New York, moved to Virginia then moved back to New York for high school and played there. Both of my parents are from Jamaica and soccer is really big there. My mom played mostly recreational leagues and my dad played club soccer at St. John's (University) and at Ohio State while he was in school. He also coached us when we were kids."
Q: Talk about Jamaica and your family there.
A: "We go back there quite a lot to visit family. It is a different culture. They are very passionate about certain things there - music, soccer... a lot of things. They are really outgoing and they have a lot of culture and the family structure is different."
Q: Why did you choose to transfer to Santa Clara?
A: "One. I changed my career goals from becoming a doctor to computer engineering. There isn't a better place than Silicon Valley for that. And, Santa Clara has an excellent program. Two. The school is renowned for its soccer program. My younger brother (Rahim) was coming here. My older brother (Shaka) lives up in San Francisco. He is in the Air Force but is doing his residency in San Francisco so it nice to be close to him. He can see me play quite a bit. The weather is great. There are a lot of pluses about Santa Clara. It is great all-around - academically, the environment, the soccer."
Q: Describe your team here at Santa Clara.
A: "I think we have a really close group of guys. It is certainly a lot different than it was at Air Force. I really like our togetherness. There is a mutual respect among the entire team, from upperclassmen to the freshmen. Chemistry-wise, we are pretty tight. Once we work on getting to know each other better on and off the field, we will be a much better team. Familiarity is tough when it is this early in the season and we have so many new guys. We all like hanging out with each other. The guys are really fun to play with and they know when to joke around and when to be all business."
Q: Who is the most interesting person on your team?
A: There are several really interesting people on our team. If I have to choose a couple, I would have to say Justin Canel and Ryan Purtell. Justin really has an aura about him. He is always outgoing and upbeat. He has been injured, but he is still smiling and cracking jokes. But, he knows when to be serious as well. He has things in the proper perspective. He is a pretty interesting person. Ryan is just the opposite of Justin. Sometimes he appears to be kind of out of it. Ryan cracks a lot of jokes, like Justin. But, he has a different personality. I like both of those guys, just like I really enjoy everybody on our team."
Q: What do you expect from yourself on and off the field?
A: "I expect to give all that I can 100 percent of the time. I expect myself to contribute as a leader vocally on and off the field and to be a leader by example. I also expect to do what I can to help our team achieve its goals. I try to work hard during every practice. I try not to let anything negative affect me and keep focused. Off the field, I expect to represent our team and the university here at Santa Clara with integrity and high values. We haven't had a chance to do anything yet, but I really want to do some service-type things in the community. I want to try to help breakdown the stereotype that we are 'just soccer players.' I want to be a positive role model in the community."
Q: Describe your relationship with your teammate and brother, Rahim.
A: "Ever since high school, Rahim has really been on his own. We went to different high schools. We played on different club teams. This is the first time we have actually played on the same team in a long, long time. He didn't want to go to Air Force. He wants to follow his own path. He wants to be a lawyer. He isn't into science like me and my brother are. He is very young and he is learning pretty quick. I expect him to do a lot of good things on the field at whatever position he plays. I try to help him as much as I can. The first year is a maturing year. He listens to what I have to say since I have played a year already. He works hard and has adapted pretty well."