This archived article was written by: Karli Morris
At 12, Neveij Walters saw his brother playing basketball and decided he would give it a try, and has loved the game ever since. “I saw my brother playing and thought it was the coolest thing, right then and there I fell in love with the sport, nothing else mattered.”
Walters was born and raised in Jamaica, but moved to Price in 2010 to attend school and play basketball at USU Eastern. He says he likes living in Price; the people are friendly and he can focus on his school work. Jamaica will always be home to Walters though. “Home is where the heart is. You never forget where you’re from. Home is where your family is, and that is Jamaica.”
Walters played for Team AAAH (Amazing Athletes at Heart) while in Jamaica. Then received a scholarship to Belair High School to play basketball with Coach Mike, his coach with Team AAAH. He was a part of an under-19 division team that won their region undefeated. The team went on to the All-Island Tournament where they left undefeated with the title of “champions.” After high school, Walters went on to play basketball at Knox Community College in Manchester, Jamaica. There, his team went on to win the intercollegiate tournament.
Walters came to USU Eastern last year to play for the men’s basketball team. He returned again this year as the “undersized center” for the Eagles and to further his education. In addition to basketball, Walters is also a “fantastic student,” as he was described by Coach Brian Edelstein.
“He has a bright future ahead of him,” Edelstein said. His academic goal is to pursue a career in the field of computer programming. He hopes to use basketball as a way to continue to pay for his education. His goal is to earn 1 million U.S. dollars before returning home to his family in Jamaica. Walters says, “the ultimate objective is to go back home and help my family; everything else is just a stepping stone.”
He said his inspiration for playing basketball is his brother. Even though he never had as much success in the sport, he was always supporting his younger brother. “He supported me all my life, and inspired me to become better.”
Walters showed extreme passion for the game when he told his favorite thing about basketball, “there can’t be one thing. It is the whole experience. I treasure every moment. When you step on the court and have the opportunity to compete against a talented team, it is more addictive than any kind of drug. I’ve got a gift; I should use it.”
Coach Edelstein describes Walters as “talented.” Saying that, “if he decides that he wants to do it; he’ll do it. When he’s aggressive and decides that he wants to dominate; he will dominate.”
Walters’ teammates also had some things to say about the “Jamaican Tiger” as they all call him. Eric Hansen said, “He’s a good teammate on and off the floor.” McKay LaSalle said, “He was one of the first people I met here and he was very welcoming and nice. He made me excited to come here (USU Eastern).” “I look up to him, he gives great advice and he is a role model,” said Travon Langston.