Black History Month Spotlight: Florida Tech’s Dwight Walton
By Space Coast Daily // February 11, 2021
member of the Canadian men's national team from 1986-1995
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Throughout February, Florida Tech Athletics is celebrating the Black men and women who have had a profound impact on Panther Athletics.
When discussing the golden era of Panther men’s basketball, Dwight Walton invariably is one of the names associated with the most successful period in program history.
Along with fellow Canadians Mike and Astley Smith and Robert Sewell, Florida Tech went 70-18 during the Montreal native’s three seasons in a Panther uniform between 1988 and 1991.
That stretch included the program’s first ever share of a Sunshine State Conference regular season championship, first two NCAA Tournament appearances and first ever NCAA Tournament win.
After spending his childhood playing hockey and baseball, Walton’s love for basketball blossomed in high school thanks to his brother. Walton came to Melbourne in the fall of 1988 after spending a season with Division I Siena and his impact was immediate. Walton averaged 19.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while shooting 57.8% from the field during his first season with the Panthers. His 572 points scored remains amongst the top 10 highest single-season point totals in program history.
The Panthers went 22-8 and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Walton also helped Florida Tech earn historic wins against Boston College and another against a John Calipari-coached UMass team in which he scored 30.
This excellent campaign earned Walton not just a First Team All-SSC award and a member of the SSC All-Tournament Team but he also became the first Florida Tech basketball player to be named an All-American, selected to the NABC Third Team.
The 6-foot-5 forward was even better in his second campaign in Crimson & Gray, once again earning First Team All-SSC, SSC All-Tournament Team and NABC Third Team All-America honors.
Walton put up 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game during the 1989-90 season. His 310 rebounds still stand as the second most in a single season in program history. The Panthers ascended to another level as well, earning a share of the SSC regular season championship thanks to a program-best 26-4 record along with a return to the NCAA Tournament, where they would earn their first ever win over Norfolk State.
Walton’s final season on the hardwood of Percy Hedgecock Gymnasium in 1990-91 would see him once again earn First Team All-SSC and SSC All-Tournament Team honors along with an NABC Second Team All-America nod. He earned those two awards thanks to a season where he averaged 15.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game along with shooting 50% from the three-point arc, a mark that still stands as the second highest for a single season in Florida Tech history.
The Panthers went 22-6 and reached the Sunshine State Conference Tournament final for the first time but were cruelly denied a third straight trip to the Big Dance.
Walton’s name can be found all over the Panther basketball record books to this day. See a full-breakdown of his career and single season records below:
Walton was a member of the Canadian men’s national team from 1986-1995, which included an appearance in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Canada finished in sixth place in the basketball tournament.
During his tenure with Team Canada, he became teammates with future two-time NBA MVP and Basketball Hall of Famer Steve Nash.
Following the completion of his Panther career, Walton graduated in 1991 with a degree in business management.
In addition to playing for the national team, he would go on to have a 10-year professional basketball career with time spent in the CBA, France, Switzerland and Israel. He attributes part of his successful career to his professionalism.
Walton was inducted into the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2001 class.
Additionally, he was inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame in 2011 and was also named to the Sunshine State Conference Silver Anniversary Team.
Today, Walton is an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Concordia University in his hometown of Montreal. He also serves as an analyst on TV and radio for TSN.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS