Vinny Walls – The Gift of Camden

By Jason Williams
March 17, 2014

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The opportunity for higher education and a better lifestyle isn’t always an option for young men from Camden, New Jersey. For Vinny “The Gift” Walls he found a better way to live and receive higher education through basketball.

“At first I was skeptical because it was a different environment, and I had never heard about Cabrini College,” said Walls on why he decided to attend Cabrini. “I went to high school with Aaron Walton-Moss and he convinced me to give Cabrini a try to help him win a national championship.  I was also attracted to the academic success of Cabrini College graduates.”

Vinny Walls is a junior transfer from Essex County Junior College. Vinny Walls has been a junior standout this year for the Cabrini men’s basketball team.

“It is a brotherhood more than a team so everyday it’s like we are coming together as a family in order to achieve a goal,” Walls said when asked about the men’s basketball team and his favorite moment as a Cavalier. “My favorite moment as a Cavalier so far has to have been winning our CSAC title, it was one of the goals we set at the beginning of the year. Even though we didn’t accomplish our main goal we still completed many goals on our list this year.”

Vinny comes from a strong background of great family and basketball. On the court Vinny is a standout scorer and sharpshooter. Off the court he is a family-oriented young man who is trying to better not only his life through basketball and education, but his family’s as well. “

My biggest inspirations on and off the court are my parents, because off the support system I have from them.  They both inspire me to be a better person on and off the court,” said Walls when asked about his biggest inspirations.

Vinny’s father like him was a standout basketball player at Camden High School and The University of Louisville. Vinny has built a reputation on the court as a sharpshooter and pure scorer like his father before him. Coming from Camden basketball has a strong history, VInny plans on living up to the standard of Camden basketball.

“Mainly my father, but Dejuan Wagner because of his success and the fact that he was able to get out of the environment of Camden while still representing where he came from,” said Vinny when asked about his role models of basketball and who he looks up to. “ I try to model my game after not only my father but Jamal Crawford, Stephen Curry and Penny Hardaway, for their ability to score at will and their ability to see the game on the floor.”

Coming from Camden higher education is not always a possibility or option. For someone coming from the inner city the success rate of making it out is slim to none.

“I knew at a young age if I didn’t have an athletic scholarship I wouldn’t be able to afford a college education.  So I pushed myself to obtain an academic and partial scholarships to make myself and my family proud,” said Walls when asked if basketball was his only option to obtain higher education.

All athletes have the same common goal to make a better living for not only themselves but for their families as well. Many athletes just believe if they cannot go pro and make it as a professional that’s the end of the line, but Vinny has stressed the importance of education and how important it is, because his family has told him basketball isn’t the only key to success.

“Right now, I see myself as a family man.  Raising my children under better circumstances and environments compared to what I had to endure being raised in Camden,” Walls said when asked about where he sees himself in 10 years.

As a star athlete your main focus is usually just the sport of your choice, but for Vinny Walls he is gifted enough to have the skill on the court and to have the knowledge in the classroom. A professional basketball career is in the works for Walls, but after the ball stops, Walls knows that this isn’t the end. “The first thing I will do is move my family out of Camden, to give them a better life,” Walls said after asked about the first thing he would do if given the opportunity to play professional basketball.

Not many are gifted enough to have the strong mindset and support system of Walls, but one can truly say Vinny isn’t only known as the Gift; he is truly gifted.

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Jason Williams

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