By Bobbi Langlois
To say that Jontay Walton had a busy offseason would be an understatement. Along with bettering her game with club basketball, she spent much of her time training hard because she believes great players are made in the offseason. She was also looking at colleges, all while trying to decide where she would be going for her senior year of high school.
Her previous school, Holy Angels Academy, was shut down this past summer, forcing her to decide who she would be joining forces with for her final season.
Although a lot of player from Holy Angels ending up going to Mount Mercy after the closing, Jontay thought that Cardinal O’ Hara would be a better fit for her both academically and athletically.
Those weren’t the only two reasons though; she believed that this team would help her accomplish one of her goals.
“I want to win states…have a better team, and I feel like this team is a good team for me to be on.”
Walton is a returning First Team All-Western New York player, and is looking to become the Monsignor Martin Association all-time scoring leader. Walton set the all-time Holy Angels record with 1,521 points, making her over three-fourths of the way to her goal of 2,000 points.
When asked about the records at O’Hara she said, “it is definitely a goal to break those records, but I’m not focused on that.”
When it comes to basketball Walton doesn’t have a favorite part, she loves playing with a fast pace in every aspect of the game.
“We all bring the hype in defense,” Walton said. “I like to score as well, I would say my greatest asset is my speed, so really I like both defense and offense.”
She has a couple offers on the table and will definitely be going Division I or Division II. However, she will not be making any decisions until after the season because offers could be thrown in at anytime during the season.
Although Jontay has only been at O’Hara for less than half of a year she has grown close to her teammates and coaches.
“She’s very personable. … fun to be around, and a pleasure to coach,” said head coach Dan McDermott.
She has fiercely competed against this team the past three years. Along with that she has competed against now teammate Keyonte Edwards, also a returning First Team All-WNY player.
“We are the same type of player,” Edwards said. “I’m just a little bigger. We’ve always guarded each other when we played each other.”
On the court they are intense competitors while off the court you can find them enjoying each other’s company.
“They like to joke around,” McDermott says. “Maybe a little too much at practice, but it is a pleasure to be around them on and off the court.”
These ladies have set their expectations very high for this season, and they are working towards their goals. With their love for the game, competitiveness, and willingness to work, they plan on getting everything out of the season that they have been putting into it.