This is the first in an occasional series profiling Arizona student-athletes' lives and interests away from competition.
Like many of his fellow student-athletes, senior
“There’s going to be no road trip home this year, which has kind of been a tradition,” Walters said. “I just need to stay around here and work out and take classes.”
The 6-foot-10-inch returning starter does have a quick trip planned to see friends and family in his hometown of
A basketball tournament gift introduced
Walters to photography.
It was just such a trip after his freshman year that gave Walters a new way to look at the world: through a camera lens.
An inexpensive, 2-megapixel camera included in a basketball tournament gift bag from Walters’ first season as a Wildcat gave him a power he had never had on family vacations.
“When I was a kid we always went on big family vacations to different places ?- national parks mostly,” Walters said. “Having five kids in the family, I never got to take the pictures.
“I always wanted to, but I think one of the reasons was I was really young and my mom never really thought I would take good pictures, and then she would have to pay to get them developed.”
With his modest digital wonder, the now-college freshman had the freedom to explore what quickly became a new passion. If a photo didn’t come out just right, all he had to do was hit the delete button and try again. He was hooked.
He put his skills to the test that summer, when three of his friends drove down to
“Sometimes just walking around, I’ll frame a picture in my mind,” Walters said. “I told my friend what I was thinking of and he took the picture.”
Since then, Walters has continued to expand his vision and imagination, combining candid shots with ideas for photos he comes up with in his mind. He’s expanded his shooting power, too, upgrading to a 6-mexapixel camera and passing on the one that got everything started to his younger brother.
Walters’ range extends from breathtaking nature photography to Photoshop enhancements and alterations ?- sometimes on the goofy side ?- as evidenced by a shot of him with his niece Abbi and six Photoshop twins of her in different poses on the couch.
He’s looking forward to continuing to improve his on and off-court shooting as the Wildcats head to
“There are some national parks in the Northwest I haven’t been to, like Glacier and
This summer isn’t likely to yield many more breathtaking shots of the outdoors, but in between workouts and class, Walters still enjoys reviewing his photo exhibition of past summer vacations.
“It’s nice having the photos on your computer so you can set it up for the screensaver showing old pictures,” Walters said. “It just reminds you of good memories from past road trips.”