Edina's all-time leading scorer had a handful of scholarship offers to choose from after a successful four-year career at the Minnesota high school.
But an opportunity to play for and receive an education from a Big Ten school was too much for Walt McGrory to pass up. Monday evening, the senior guard accepted a preferred walk-on offer from Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard.
"I'm an extreme competitor who wants to play against the best, and there's no higher level than the Big Ten," McGrory told BadgerBlitz.com. "I wanted to challenge myself and this was the perfect opportunity to do that.
"It was a difficult choice but I knew Wisconsin was what I wanted. My family was very supportive of my decision, which helped a lot."
A 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect, McGrory, who averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game as a senior, started to hear from the Badgers roughly a month ago. A recent visit to Madison sealed the deal.
"Wisconsin started reaching out to me about a month ago saying they had some interest in me, and then a little while after that I was offered a spot and they invited me out for a visit," McGroy, who scored 2,126 career points, said. "I was extremely interested right from the start and was glad everything happened so quickly.
"I was offered by Drake, Maine, Furman, South Dakota State and Brown. I was seriously considering all those options and had visited almost all of them, but after my time at Wisconsin I knew that's the place I wanted to be."
Like Brad Davison, a scholarship signee in the 2017 class, McGroy should be able to add needed depth at both guard positions when he arrives on campus this summer.
"I've played point guard my whole life, but I think my size and strength gives me the ability to play both point and shooting guard," McGrory said. "My versatility is one thing Coach Gard said he likes about my game.
"The coaches at Wisconsin have been great They said they wanted more depth at the guard position and that they like kids like me who have a chip on their shoulder."
Wisconsin is also getting a player who missed an important stretch of the AAU season due to hip injuries. Had McGroy been healthy during that stretch, more scholarships would likely have been on his list.
"I missed the AAU season going into my junior year because I had surgery on both of my hips," McGrory, a four-time all-conference selection, said. "That was definitely tough to overcome, along with not getting much exposure this past summer. But this high school season I was finally back to feeling 100 percent and I think that whole experience just made me become more resilient and helped me learn the value of hard work."
"I know them (Davison and Reuvers) a little bit just from playing against them throughout the years, but I'm looking forward to getting to know them better and getting on the court with them," McGrory said of his fellow Minnesotans. "It feels great to have my decision made. My process took a little longer than others but I'm glad I waited it out as long as I did, otherwise I might not have had this opportunity.
"Now my focus is solely on improving my game and being as prepared as possible for summer workouts."