NKU Standout Dantez Walton Signs Pro Deal in Finland
Northern Kentucky University basketball standout Dantez Walton has signed a professional contract to play in Finland.
The recent NKU graduate is set to play for Kataja Basket Club in Joensuu, which plays in the top Finnish league, Korisliiga.
“Personally, I think this is a great start to the beginning of my career as a pro athlete,” said Walton, in a news release from NKU. “This is a top league, so I expect nothing less than top competition. Also, none of this would be possible without the support and love I get from NKU, and of course the man above!”
Walton averaged a team-best 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in leading Northern Kentucky to its third Horizon League Tournament crown in his four seasons on campus.
“I’m so happy for Dantez," said NKU basketball head coach Darrin Horn. “From the day I met him, I knew he had untapped potential, and for him to achieve what he did last year was really special to see. He bought into what it takes to become a pro and put in so much work to make this happen. Dantez is as good of a kid as I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching. This is just the beginning of a long pro career for him.”
“My last year at NKU changed my life forever," Walton said. "The love I have for not just my teammates or coaching staff, but for everybody in the program, will last forever! We went to war this year and faced a lot of adversity, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else!”
Walton is a native of Lima, Oh. and was part of five Horizon League titles between the regular season and tournament crowns. The Norse qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times and the NIT once.
In his last game with the Norse in the 2020 Horizon League Championship game, Walton eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau and finished his career with 1,008 points, 522 rebounds and 181 assists.
Kataja has been one of the top teams in the Korisliiga over the last eighteen seasons, winning seven regular-season crowns and making eight appearances in the play-off championships, which includes two titles.
The team has also qualified for the last five FIBA Europe Cups.
“I’m most excited about actually playing a game since it’s been so long," Walton said. "I’m also excited to have the opportunity to explore a different country.”
Photo via NKU Athletics