Dayne Downey, known more by the equally alliterative OneWildWalnut, was the first center selected in the NBA 2K League draft, going sixth overall to Blazer5 Gaming. One of the youngest players in the league, and nonetheless a Kobe fan, Walnut bested all but one center in scoring during the combine. He was kind enough to take time away from Blazer5’s winning ways in order to offer us a little insight into the life of an NBA 2K League player.
OS: Tell us a little about your journey to the NBA 2K League.
WW: I’ve played video games since I was eight years old, and 2K specifically since I was 10. I’ve been pretty good at 2K for the past 4-5 years and have played in many competitive Game Battles tournaments and seasons, along with Pro-Am leagues like MPBA [My Player Basketball Association]. During the combine, I played as a C and then qualified again as a PF after I got 60 games in at C. Despite being at the latter end of my college basketball season during the combine, I still managed to get 100 games in total with obviously very good stats and a 90-10 W/L record.
OS: What are some of your goals for this season, on and off the court?
WW: On the virtual court, I of course want to win a championship. But on top of that, I want to continue to build a strong and unique bond with my current teammates. And personally, I want to keep on dominating down low and proving wrong the people who said that I was drafted way too high at #6.
OS: What’s the most important thing you keep in mind every day?
WW: I just keep in mind every day that I could very easily not be in the position I am in today. I could easily be studying for finals at my junior college back in Los Angeles but instead I am getting paid to play a video game that I have loved playing for the last 9 years of my life. I am also very thankful for the opportunity to experience something way different than what I am accustomed to, by living in Portland, and being away from friends and family and of course the beautiful area that is LA.
OS: Walk us through game day.
WW: For game day, it’s simple. Wake up and eat breakfast with the team and then go over the game plan once again. Then we all go to the 2K League Studios a couple hours before game time to lock in. Then it’s all business once it’s tip off time.
OS: What has been your most exciting moment so far?
WW: My most exciting moment so far has to have been when we tied the game going into the 4th quarter in the Tip Off Championship against 76ersGC. We were down by 20+ in the first half but fought back to tie it, which was insane. My voice was completely gone but for good reason. Even though we ended up losing the game, that specific moment is top so far — with many more to come.