Tom Sorensen

Kemba Walker, Cam Newton part of Charlotte’s ultimate sports race. Who wins?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is the kind of player who could lead his team to a title, but will he?
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is the kind of player who could lead his team to a title, but will he? AP

On Monday, Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker received the NBA Sportsmanship Award. The award goes to a player who embodies fair play, sportsmanship and integrity.

Kemba-Walker
Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is the kind of player you want on your team and in your city, but is he the kind who can win a title? Evan Agostini Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Walker is a player you want on your court, in your locker room and in your town. He works in his community and on his game. He worked to fix his jump shot and made the all-star team last season. He’s worked on other facets, too. Not a loud, look-at-me type of personality, he became a leader. He does not lead as if he gets paid by the word. When you work as hard as he does, you don’t have to talk all the time. Teammates follow.

The Hornets selected Walker with the ninth pick in the 2011 draft. In 2011, the Panthers selected Cam Newton with the first pick in the NFL draft.

Walker played at Connecticut. In this final season he was the Huskies’ best player and took them to the national championship. Newton played at Auburn. In his final season he was the Tigers’ best player and took them to the national championship.

Who wins a championship first?

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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