Ohio prep star Walker challenging ineligible ruling

Updated: July 26, 2006, 1:10 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Bill Walker, one of the nation's top prep basketball stars, is challenging a ruling by Ohio's sanctioning body for high school sports that would bar him from playing his senior season for suburban North College Hill High School.

Walker is widely considered second only to teammate O.J. Mayo among the nation's best incoming seniors.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association ruled earlier this month that Walker has used all of his high school eligibility because he played at Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland, Ky., in the 2002-03 school year before playing for North College Hill the past three seasons.

"We're appealing the decision to the commissioner," Richard Katz, the Walker family's attorney, said Wednesday. "We have a difference of opinion as to their ruling and as to why they ruled the way they did."

Katz said he will present evidence at an OHSAA hearing on Aug. 10.

A spokesman for the OHSAA did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Walker, a 6-foot-6 forward, averaged 21.7 points and 10.1 rebounds last season as he and Mayo led North College Hill to a second consecutive Division III state championship.

After the OHSAA's ruling, there had been speculation that Walker might transfer to a private prep school. Katz said Walker is committed to staying put.

"His plan is to complete his education and get his high school diploma from North College Hill," Katz said. "Obviously, he wants to play basketball his senior year and he's disappointed that they've ruled that he can't. Be that as it may, he would like to finish his high school career there."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press