Men’s team assistant coach Dwight Walton shares his road to success
Montreal native Dwight Walton loves football, The Flintstones and Tony Romo’s broadcasting skills. However, nothing competes with his passion for basketball.
Walton is a former professional basketball player and a former member of the Canadian Olympic team. He is also an assistant coach for the Concordia Stingers men’s basketball team.
From a young age, Walton knew what he wanted to do with his life. “Since I was seven years old, I knew I was going to be a professional athlete” he said.
Walton grew up playing hockey and baseball before picking up basketball in high school. His love for basketball came from his brother, and has blossomed ever since the eighth grade.
After attending Wagar High School in Côte St-Luc, Walton played for the Dawson Blues basketball team in CEGEP, where he received All-Canadian honours. His talent earned him the opportunity to play for a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I team. He played for Siena College in Albany, N.Y., but transferred after one year to the NCAA Division II Florida Institute of Technology, where he would eventually become a three-time All-American.
In 1986, Walton joined the Canadian men’s national team, and two years later, he competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Canada finished in sixth place in the basketball tournament.
“To this day, [representing Canada] is my proudest and most cherished accomplishment as an athlete,” Walton said. “I am not a braggadocios person. I am well aware of all my accomplishments, but to be recognized as one of the best that Canada’s ever had will definitely go down as my best accomplishment.”
In addition to playing for the national team, Walton maintained a 10-year professional basketball career in Switzerland and Israel. He attributes part of his successful career to his professionalism.
“I took pride in myself being a professional,” Walton said. “Because of my character off the court, that’s why I maintained a good, 10-year career.”
According to Walton, his work ethic was also a factor in his long playing career. “If you want to get to that next level, you have to have that special quality where your work ethic is second to none.”
That attitude made him an ideal fit for Concordia. On Oct. 15, the Stingers announced that Walton would be joining the men’s team as an assistant coach. Walton said his experience has been very good so far and that “as long as [head coach] Rastko Popovic wants me here, I will continue to be around and to do my best, as well as I can.”
So far, the addition of Walton has paid dividends for the Stingers. The team is off to a 3-1 start after defeating rival McGill Redmen 70-58 on Nov. 18. They beat the Université de Québec à Montréal Citadins 82-66 on Nov. 25, and return to regular-season play on Jan. 11.
Main photo by Alex Hutchins.