NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Albertus Magnus College athletic department held a private memorial service for alumnus and men's basketball star Jaqhawn Walters '18, who tragically died on September 19. The service was held Thursday evening inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center. Administrators, coaches, student-athletes, alumni, and family were on hand to help celebrate Walters' life, who had been at Albertus from 2014 to 2018.
Highlights from the service included opening remarks from Albertus Magnus President Marc Camille and Father Jordan Lenaghan, hymns from Albertus chorus director Sarah Reed, reflections from head men's basketball coach Mitch Oliver, and a slideshow presentation of Walters playing career.
Walters' was one of Albertus' all-time basketball greats. During Walters' freshman season, he appeared in every single game for the Falcons as they went an astounding 28-2, with a 27-game winning streak, making an appearance in the NCAA tournament and defeating Springfield College in the first round, 68-58, before suffering a heartbreaking loss to Dickinson in the second round, 74-72. In his freshman season, Walters tallied 123 points and 112 rebounds, to go along with 23 assists, 11 steals, and nine blocks.
Walter's freshman year exploits did not go unnoticed, as he arrived to campus as a sophomore starter. He scored an amazing 414 points and pulled down 277 boards in his second season, helping to propel the Falcons to another 20-win campaign and an appearance in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship game. During the year, Walters racked up 15 double-doubles, with a season-high 29 points in a victory over Mount Ida College. Walter's prowess led to a Second Team All-GNAC selection and a team-bestowed Most Improved Player award.
As good as Walter's first two seasons were, his junior campaign saw him reach new levels of greatness. He set career-highs in points (569), rebounds (374), steals (29), and blocks (25), while the Falcons again eclipsed the 20-win mark, going 23-5. Albertus again made it to the GNAC Championship game, defeating Lasell University to earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Walters eclipsed the 1,000-point mark during the season and went on to garner a bevy of national, regional, and conference accolades. He was named to the 2017 D3Hoops.com All-America Second Team, the 2017 All-Region Second Team, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division III All-District Second Team. In addition to his regional and national awards, Walters also received multiple recognitions from the GNAC, including a GNAC Player of the Year award, a GNAC All-Conference First Team award, and a GNAC Tournament MVP award.
Walters' senior campaign was even more incredible than his junior year, as he set new career-highs in points (715), rebounds (404), steals (30), and blocks (30). He guided the Falcons' to a 21-6 overall record, in addition to leading the team to his fourth consecutive GNAC Championship game. Walters concluded his illustrious collegiate career with a host of awards. He was named a D3Hoops.com All-American, a 2018 Reese's Division III All-Star, an NABC All-District Selection, a GNAC All-Tournament Team member, GNAC Player of the Year, a First Team All-Conference selection, an eight-time GNAC Player of the Week, and the team's unanimous MVP.
Walters was one of the most decorated players in the Falcons' storied history. The two-time All-American ended his collegiate tenure with a whopping 1,821 points, fourth on the school's all-time list, and 1,167 rebounds, the second-best total in school history, on his way to two GNAC Player of the Year nods.
In his four seasons at Albertus, Walters helped guide the Falcons to two GNAC Championship Titles, winning Tournament Most Valuable Player in the 2017 title game. Over his four years with the blue-and-white, Albertus owned an outstanding 92-19 overall record for an 82.9 winning percentage.
After his career at Albertus, Walters signed a professional contract with Club Gimnasia & Esgrima in Argentina and averaged 15.9 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Upon the conclusion of his collegiate career, Walters was a staple at the Falcons' home games, cheering on his Falcons comrades from the Nest.
Jaqhawn will forever be a part of our school and our basketball program. He embodied every aspect that Albertus Magnus College students aspire to be. His humble nature on and off the court, his determination and will to win, his selfless attitude and unwavering good nature, but most importantly, his kindness to others and his ability to light the world with his infectious smile and bring joy to all who knew him will be but a small part of the legacy that will live on in Jaqhawn's name. We ask that everyone keep Jaqhawn's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this challenging time.
About Albertus Magnus College
Albertus Magnus College, founded in 1925, is a Catholic College in the Dominican tradition. It is recognized by external rankings such as US News & World Report Best Colleges, Money Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The College has an enrollment of 1,500 students in its traditional undergraduate program, accelerated adult degree programs, and 12 graduate programs, including a new Master of Public Administration and the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program in Connecticut. In the last year, the College received two significant Federal grants in support of student success and well-being: a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice and a $1.9 million Title III grant from the Department of Education.