'Being a good person doesn't cost at all,' Packers rookie Quay Walker offers advice to Milwaukee-area high school athletes
As someone who isn’t too far removed from his high school days, Quay Walker urged the athletes at the Milwaukee High School Sports Awards, presented by Festival Foods, to cherish the moment.
“I know being in high school, you always want to get to college, but college is always going to be there,” he said. “But high school, these are people you’ve grown up with your whole life, 11, 12 years, whatever the case may be. It’s going to be strange not seeing those people once you graduate and move on to a new chapter of your life.”
That was the first of many messages the Green Bay Packers 2022 first-round draft pick delivered at the sixth annual award show, which was held Wednesday night at the Pabst Theater.
During a 23-minute Q&A with Journal Sentinel reporter Kassidy Hill, Walker touched on a number of topics including his decision to stay at Georgia despite not having immediate success, the merits of being a multi-sport athlete and how he avoids burning out. He even explained his decision to sign with the Bulldogs after initially committing to Alabama.
Here are some of the highlights:
What advice would you give your younger self?
“Always be thankful for where you’re at. Don’t take nothing for granted. Adversity is going to come your way, just try to come up with a plan of how you can maneuver through it and push through it and fight through everything.”
Why did you stay at Georgia despite not starting until your senior season?
“I actually thought about transferring a whole lot of times, but my position coach and Coach (Kirby) Smart, they wouldn’t let me do that that. … Not only that, but that would have been selfish of me because of all the people I have back home looking up to me. It goes back to that word: adversity. I went through that, had to push through and once I did that it let a lot of people know that anything is possible.”
Are you an advocate for playing multiple sports? How can it help or hurt?
"If you really believe in being an athlete then I believe playing two sports is the best thing to do. Just exploring your options. You never know what you might come across. You may end up liking something more than the other one. I was really in love with basketball, but football got me to where I am today and changed my whole life."
What is the best piece of advice you want to share?
"No matter what comes your way, just continue to try to fight through. Something I always love to say is that it doesn’t cost much at all to be a good person. Say for instance you go into a convenience store and you walk to the cashier. She might be having a rough day and just by you being kind and gentle, saying kind words (it) can change a person’s whole life. … Even though all of us come from different backgrounds, being a good person don’t cost at all.”
How do you maintain your motivation and avoid burning out?
"I just go back to why I started. I always remind myself of why I started and remind myself that as a 7- or 8-year-old kid this was a position I always wanted to be in. Once I get back to that standpoint, how I was then, then everything flows from there.”
Why did you choose Georgia after committing to Alabama?
"They recruited me while I was committed to Alabama because I’m from Georgia. It was a trend for a lot of guys from Georgia to stay home, so I felt good about that. Georgia played Alabama in the national championship (in Jan. 2018) and we lost and it just didn’t feel right knowing I’m from Georgia and I’d be playing at Alabama, helping Alabama beat Georgia. It just wouldn’t feel right at all.”
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Packers rookie Quay Walker offers advice to area high school athletes