Before Detective Ed Walker became the Youth Officer for the Ossining Police Department he played basketball with the team that is infamous for its inability to beat the Harlem Globetrotters, The Washington Generals. The Generals is the team that tries to play a serious game of basketball against the comedic antics of the Globetrotters and loses every time.
“When you are in the U.S, 80% of the game is staged,” said Detective Walker. “Outside the U.S only 40% is staged. When we [the Generals] had the ball we played real basketball. Once you bought into the show you can make the kids smile. The harder you played the better the show. The kids really brighten up.”
Walker was invited by the Globetrotter organization to try out for the Generals after a scout saw him play during a game while he was attending school at St. Thomas Aquinas. He got a call and was flown out to California for the two week team try outs. However, due to a scheduling mistake by someone within the organization a game was scheduled during try outs and Walker was told he was going.
“I’m in my room and they call a meeting and they said we were going” said Walker recalling the moment. “So I never got a chance to go back home. I didn’t even get a chance to get home sick.”
His year with the Generals took him all over including Ecuador and Paradise Island in the Bahamas’ where he played in the Wide World of Sports. It was at the Wide World of Sports show that gave him an opportunity to do something nice for his mother.
“I flew my mom in,” said Walker. “It was great to give back to my mom.”
Even though he was playing for a well known team, at 24 Walker felt he didn’t know what he had and didn’t appreciate it at the time and only played with The Generals for a year.
“I was 24 so I was looking for an NBA career,” said Walker. “I could have made a career of it but being so young I gave up that position.”
Being that he was looking for an NBA career, Walker had a bit of a hard time buying into the show and adjusting to being the chronically losing team at first.
“It took about 60 days [to get used to it] I got fined a lot,” said Walker. “After about $10,000 I figured it out, but it was very fun for me since I loved the sport. It was a great experience and made some great friends.”
Detective Walker still plays from time and time and is a coach of the varsity team at Ossining High School.
“Sometimes we will get on the court and play with the kids,” Walker said. “I still love the game to death.”
Today Ed Walker is still working with kids as Ossining Police Department’s Youth Officer who tries to make the justice system as non-threatening and positive an experience as possible.
“I try to keep it non-threatening,” said Walker. “You don’t want them [the kids] to have a bad opinion of the police. You don’t want to scar them for life. You give them a chance to express themselves. I still attempt to reach a different side. You just don’t know why they do something.”