Kemba Walker (194832)

When Barclays Center announcer David Diamante introduced the Charlotte Hornets and their star guard, Kemba Walker, at the start of the game against the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night, he could have mentioned that Walker was from the Bronx, went to Rice High School and won an NCAA championship with the University of Connecticut before being drafted with the ninth pick in the first round by Charlotte in 2011.

Walker, whose new, $48 million, four-year deal with the Hornets began this season, was recently named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 7, through Sunday, March 13. It’s his fourth career NBA Player of the Week award and his second one this season.

Walker, turning 26 in May, is averaging 21.1 points, 5.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He leads the Hornets in scoring and is a fraction off from also leading them in assists. Walker’s production could one day solidify his inclusion in the conversation of outstanding NBA guards from the New York City area, such as Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Kenny Anderson, Rod Strickland and Mark Jackson.

The Hornets, 41-30, owned by Hall of Famer and sneaker king Michael Jordan, ended last season in 11th place, out of the playoffs. With 11 games left in this season, they’re currently sixth out of the eight Eastern Conference playoff teams, but fluctuate in that position, moving up to fourth or fifth, depending on their wins and losses by the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, who hold the fourth and fifth positions, respectively. They each have similar records.

Charlotte’s 105-100 win against Brooklyn, and their 91-88 home victory against the San Antonio Spurs, the league’s second-best team the night before, strengthens their climb up the post-season ladder.

“It was a big-time win, especially playing against a great team like that,” said Walker. “We just gave great effort in the second half, and Jeremy Lin (29 points) of course had a huge game. He was phenomenal. And even tonight (against the Nets), he was great. He carried the load. He and Big Al (center Al Jefferson), they played extremely well, and they brought us to victory.”

Brooklyn hosts LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, Thursday, the leaders of the Eastern Conference, and the Indiana Pacers, also playoff contenders, Saturday, before going back out on the road to close out the month.