Former ARC athelete trains for ’12 Olympics

Standing at only 5-feet-9-inches, Bracin Walker defies logic on the basketball court. He has also become a record-breaker in track and field.

The next jump the former American River College duel athlete will make will be his biggest—training for the 2012 Summer Olympics in the long jump.

It’s quite the accomplishment for someone who didn’t begin competing in either sport until his senior season in high school.
Walker grew up in Sacramento until his sophomore year in high school before moving to his father’s home in Cleveland. And it wasn’t until his senior year at Wickliffe High School that he played organized basketball for the first time. His physical attributes were showcased in a YouTube video of him dunking on a player nearly a foot taller than Walker.

He also tried running track his senior year.

“I made it to state, broke some records,” Walker said.

After his senior year of high school he moved back to California with his mom. He chose to go to ARC because it was the closest school.

“I ended up playing basketball (at ARC) because my friend asked if I was going to the basketball class, and I thought it was a P.E. class. It was the tryouts and I never got cut so I ended up on the team,” Walker said.

Walker again made a name for himself at the Kenny Smith Carolina Basketball Camp as a dunker. Smith gave him the nickname Red Bull, what he is referred to on YouTube.

After a year off, Walker began competing in track and field during his second and third year at ARC in the long jump, 4×400-meter relay, 4×100-meter, and the 100-meter and 200-meter.

“I jumped farther after each meet and by state I jumped my farthest of 29 feet ¾ inches,” Walker said.
According to Directathletes.com, Walker long-jumped 7.85 meters—which was good for first place.

Following this record-breaking performance, Walker and his coach decided that it was time for him to take the next big jump—train for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Walker will travel to Oregon for the preliminary trials, hoping to qualify for the U.S. team. He has decided to put basketball on hold for right now, because at the moment track and field will be able to open a lot more doors for him than basketball can. He said,

“Track is just a means to an end.”

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