Charlotte Hornets point guard, Kemba Walker has a big year coming up.
Entering the final year of his contract, the two-time All-Star has career averages of 18.9 points per game and 5.4 assist.
Walker has posted at least 20 points the last two seasons in the NBA and he’s looking to do it for a third. He’s been working with a familiar face: Jay Hernandez, who was hired as a Hornets assistant coach this offseason.
“A lot of floaters in-between games,” Kemba Walker told me.
“That’s been a big emphasis: finishing at the rim in-between games, being more consistent at that.”
Walker is also ready for the 2018-19 season. “I just want to make the playoffs,” he said.
“That’s it. I want to get back to the playoffs consistently, so next year is the first step for consistent playoff runs.”
As for Jay Hernandez, before joining the Hornets, Hernandez was instrumental to Orlando’s player development, particularly in working with players before games and behind the scenes.
A Long Island, NY native, Hernandez played at Hofstra University under current Villanova Wildcat head coach, Jay Wright and was teammates with former San Antonio Spur and NBA Champion, Speedy Claxton.
Over the last few years, Hernandez gave up a personal basketball training business, Pro Hoops, which included clients such as Los Angeles Clippers forward, Tobias Harris and Charlotte Hornets All-Star Kemba Walker as clients.
For Hernandez, it’s all about the journey. “I love what I do,” Jay Hernandez told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast in the spring.
“When people ask me: ‘how did you get to where you are?’ I say the same thing over and over again; it sounds a little cheesy or cliché: ‘you have to love what you do.’ Within that, you’re going to have days that are really really hard and only that love will take you past the will of wanting to quit so for me it’s about perseverance, it’s about truthfully hard work. That’s why my tag line is always rep your work.”