CHICAGO HEIGHTS | E.C. Central grad Bryce Walker came to South Suburban College looking for an outlet from life at home; an escape from reality.
He’s found that on the basketball court, as he has started to become one of coach John Pigatti’s leaders, as well as a scoring machine.
Walker was one of a trio of former Cardinals that showcased their skills Tuesday, scoring 18 points to help the Bulldogs rout Prairie State 91-66. Michael Harris had a team-high 23 points, while Henry Davis added 13.
Walker, 22, is older than most athletes at two-year schools. He has matured as a person due to helping take care of his mother, Donna Guy, who lost her vision in one eye and some of her hearing.
“It’s hard at home, but my family has really been coming together,” Walker said. “I had to grow up really fast.”
Those traits of maturity have been noticed by Pigatti. He was eligible the second semester of last season, but spent his time playing behind the second-year players.
“He’s learning and trying to work on how to be a leader,” Pigatti said. “Once he starts to buy into what I want done, then he can start leading our basketball team. The team looks up to him, even though he’s only 5-foot-10.”
Pigatti is no stranger to recruiting E.C. Central players to his program. The blue-collar style of players like Davis translates well into how the Bulldogs play.
“They’ve just got a toughness to them,” Pigatti said of his E.C. Central players. “That toughness and winning attitude is what I like about them. If those other guys can start feeding off their toughness, I think we’ll be all right.”
Megan Majors is still getting used to the increased speed and tenacity of women’s college basketball, but the T.F. South grad and South Suburban freshman has found a place in the Bulldogs’ starting lineup.
“It’s definitely a lot more fast-paced and a lot more emphasis on execution with what to do, and not just jacking up the ball,” Majors said.
Majors had six points and led the Bulldogs with six assists and four steals in a 47-45 win over Prairie State.
South Suburban coach Darrell Scott, a Roosevelt grad, knows he has great talent with Majors as one of his starting guards. She brings a lot of energy to the team, but sometimes that energy can affect her play on the court in a negative way.
“She’s very athletic, very active and she works hard all the time,” Scott said. “She plays too fast sometimes, but other than that she’s a great player for us. She wasn’t feeling well, but she didn’t make that an excuse.”