Berks

Lonnie Walker returns to play in front of hometown fans

'It's just a game you want to go see,' fan says

Lonnie Walker returns to play in...

READING, Pa. - Former Reading High School basketball star Lonnie Walker is back in Berks County.

Walker and his University of Miami teammates arrived Tuesday night for their game against the La Salle University Explorers.

"I'm back," Walker said as he got off the plane. "It's a lot colder, but it's great to be back."

The team wasted no time Wednesday getting to the Santander Arena for a shoot-around session on the court.

The reason Lonnie and the Hurricanes are in town is simple. The University of Miami knew that Lonnie's grandparents, Elenor and Herbert Carter, wouldn't otherwise be able to see him play.

"Oh, it's a blessing," Walker's grandfather, Herbert Carter, told WFMZ's Jim Vasil. "I'm very excited, not only for myself but for the city of Reading, because I know how he loves this city."

Tip-off is set for 6 p.m., and as of Wednesday morning, only a few tickets for the game were still available for sale.

"It's just a game you want to go see," said fan Mark Verry.

And his hometown fans aren't the only ones excited to see Walker return to Reading, where he helped the Red Knights win their first state basketball championship last year.

"He has family members who actually came from Colorado. They're coming from Florida," Carter said. "Lonnie always has followers because of the type of person he is."

Schuylkill Valley Sports in Muhlenberg Township is getting in on Lonnie fever. The store has added University of Miami gear to its inventory, placing the Hurricanes' hats and t-shirts right alongside the Penn State and Reading High merchandise.

"We figured a lot of people from Reading would become Miami fans," said store manager Tim Kistler. "We felt like we were providing the people with something that they would want, and sales have been great."


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