Meet Walker Kessler, a rising star in basketball whose journey from high school dominance to the NBA showcases his talent, determination, and family legacy. Explore his remarkable career, from his standout performances at Woodward Academy to his current success with the Utah Jazz.

Quiz Facts

Full Name

Walker Ross Kessler

Known as

Walker Kessler


July 26, 2001


22 Years Old


Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Father’s Name

Chad Kessler

Mother’s Name

Andrea Kessler


Houston Kessler and Lilly Kessler





Zodiac Sign


Marital Status



Maggie Hellgeth




7 feet 1 inch/2.16 m/216 cm


245 lbs/111 kg


Professional Basketball Player


  • High School: Woodward Academy

  • College: North Carolina (2020-2021)

  • Auburn (2021-2022)

NBA Draft

Memphis Grizzlies: 2022/ Round: 1/ Pick 22nd Overall

Awards & Achievements

  • Third-team All-American – AP, USBWA (2022)

  • Naismith Defensive Player of the Year (2022)

  • NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2022)

  • SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2022)

  • First-team All-SEC (2022)

  • SEC All-Defensive Team (2022)

  • McDonald’s All-American (2020)

  • Nike Hoop Summit (2020)

  • Mr. Georgia Basketball (2020)

Playing Career




Jersey Number


Average Annual Salary

$3.34 Million

Base Salary (2022-23 Season)

$2.69 Million

Net Worth

$1-3 Million

Social Media


Walker Kessler Early Life & Education

Walker Kessler was born and raised on July 26, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Chad Kessler and Andrea Kessler. Growing up in a family deeply immersed in basketball, with his father and uncle having played college basketball in Georgia, Kessler was introduced to the sport at a young age. His father, Chad, and uncle, Alec, even pursued dreams of playing in the NBA. However, it didn’t materialize, leading Chad to pursue a medical career as an orthopedic surgeon after a stint in the Australia Basketball League.

Walker’s passion for basketball was nurtured within his family, where he often played alongside his brother Houston, who also pursued basketball at the collegiate level. Despite the familial ties to the sport, Walker’s journey in basketball was uniquely his own, marked by dedication and hard work.

Education was equally crucial in the Kessler household. Walker attended Woodward Academy in College Park, where he excelled academically and showcased his burgeoning basketball talents—his time at Woodward Academy shaped his basketball career, honed his skills, and emerged as a standout player on the court.

High School Career

Walker Ross Kessler’s journey to basketball stardom began during high school at Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia. Known for his towering presence on the court and versatile skills, Kessler quickly emerged as a standout player in the Georgia high school basketball scene. His senior season was spectacular, as he showcased his abilities by averaging 17.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and an astonishing 5.2 blocks per game.

However, Kessler’s impact extended far beyond mere statistics. He led his team to victory in the Class 4A state title, marking a historic achievement for Woodward Academy. This triumph solidified Kessler’s status as a top-tier prospect and demonstrated his leadership and ability to perform under pressure on the biggest stages.

Kessler’s dominance on the court did not go unnoticed, as he garnered many accolades and awards. He was named The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Player of the Year, an honor bestowed upon Georgia’s most outstanding high school basketball player. Additionally, he earned the prestigious title of Mr. Georgia Basketball, further cementing his legacy as one of the state’s all-time greats. Furthermore, Kessler was recognized as the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, a testament to his exceptional skill and dedication to the game.

His achievements extended beyond the borders of Georgia, as he was selected to participate in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game. This invitation is reserved for the nation’s top high school basketball players and further validates Kessler’s status as an elite prospect.

Throughout his high school career, Kessler honed his skills and showcased his immense potential on the court. His combination of size, athleticism, and skill set him apart from his peers and positioned him as one of the most coveted recruits in the country.


Walker Kessler’s recruitment process was highly anticipated as top college programs vied for the opportunity to secure his commitment. As a consensus five-star recruit and one of the top centers in the class of 2020, Kessler attracted attention from basketball powerhouses nationwide.

Despite receiving offers from prestigious programs such as Duke, Michigan, Virginia, and Vanderbilt, Kessler ultimately decided to continue his basketball journey at the collegiate level with the North Carolina Tar Heels. His commitment to North Carolina was met with excitement and anticipation from Tar Heels fans, who envisioned him making an immediate impact on the court.

Kessler’s decision to join North Carolina was influenced by various factors, including the program’s rich basketball tradition, renowned coaching staff, and the opportunity to compete in the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Additionally, North Carolina’s reputation for developing top-tier talent and preparing players for success at the next level played a significant role in Kessler’s decision-making process.

His commitment to North Carolina solidified the Tar Heels’ recruiting class as one of the best in the nation, further highlighting Kessler’s status as a prized prospect in college basketball.

College Career 

North Carolina (2020–2021)

Walker Kessler’s collegiate journey began at the University of North Carolina, where he embarked on his freshman season with the Tar Heels. From the outset, Kessler wasted no time making his presence felt on the court, showcasing his versatility and skill set in a series of impressive performances.

One of the defining moments of Kessler’s freshman campaign came during the ACC tournament, where he delivered a memorable performance against Notre Dame. In a dominant display of talent, Kessler recorded 16 points, 12 rebounds, and eight blocks, setting a North Carolina freshman record and an ACC Tournament record for blocks in a game. This remarkable feat was a testament to Kessler’s defensive prowess and ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor.

Throughout his freshman season, Kessler demonstrated his potential to be a game-changing player for the Tar Heels. Despite facing the challenges typical of a first-year student adjusting to the rigors of college basketball, he showcased flashes of brilliance that hinted at a bright future ahead.

Kessler’s contributions to the Tar Heels earned him recognition as one of the rising stars in college basketball, further solidifying his status as a top prospect for the NBA.

Auburn (2021–2022)

Following his freshman season at North Carolina, Walker Kessler decided to transfer to Auburn University, where he continued his collegiate career with the Tigers. His arrival at Auburn sparked excitement and anticipation among fans, who eagerly awaited the opportunity to witness his impact on the court.

Kessler wasted no time making his presence felt at Auburn, as he quickly emerged as a critical contributor for the Tigers. Throughout the season, he showcased his versatility and skill set, proving to be a dominant force on both ends of the floor.

One of the defining moments of Kessler’s tenure at Auburn came in a matchup against LSU, where he delivered a performance for the ages. Kessler recorded a triple-double in a display of sheer dominance, tallying 16 points, 11 blocks, and 10 rebounds. This remarkable feat solidified his status as one of the most talented and versatile players in college basketball.

Throughout the season, Kessler continued to impress with his exceptional shot-blocking ability, setting the Auburn single-season block record and leading the nation in blocks. His defensive prowess earned him recognition as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, further cementing his reputation as one of the premier defenders in college basketball.

After the regular season, Kessler received numerous accolades and honors for his outstanding performance on the court. He was named to the All-SEC First Team and garnered recognition as a Third Team All-American, underscoring his status as one of the top players in the nation.

Professional Career

 Utah Jazz (2022–present)

Following an impressive collegiate career, Walker Kessler declared for the 2022 NBA draft, forgoing his remaining eligibility to pursue his dream of playing professional basketball. His decision to enter the draft generated significant interest from NBA teams, as scouts and analysts eagerly evaluated his potential at the next level.

Kessler’s NBA journey began on draft night when the Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 22nd overall pick. However, his tenure with the Grizzlies was short-lived, as he was subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a blockbuster deal.

Two weeks after being drafted, Kessler found himself on the move again, as he was traded to the Utah Jazz in exchange for veteran center Rudy Gobert. The trade signaled a new chapter in Kessler’s career, as he joined a talented Jazz roster with aspirations of competing for an NBA championship.

Kessler wasted no time in making an impact with the Jazz, as he quickly established himself as a valuable contributor off the bench. Throughout his rookie season, he showcased his versatility and skill set, proving to be a dynamic presence on both ends of the floor.

One of the standout moments of Kessler’s rookie campaign came in a matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he recorded a double-double with a career-high 20 points and 21 rebounds. This performance underscored his potential as a future star in the NBA and earned him widespread recognition for his talent and tenacity on the court.

Net Worth and Contracts

Walker Kessler has amassed an estimated net worth of $1 to $3 million. This valuation considers his earnings from his professional basketball career in the NBA and potential endorsements and investments.

Regarding contracts, Kessler signed a lucrative four-year deal worth $13.37 million with the Utah Jazz on July 9, 2022. The contract includes an average annual salary of $3.34 million, with $5.52 million guaranteed. Throughout his contract, Kessler stands to earn a significant income, with gradual salary increases over the years.

Furthermore, Kessler’s partnership with Adidas adds to his financial portfolio. He announced his collaboration with Adidas Basketball through social media, indicating additional income from endorsement deals.

Relationship and Social Media Presence

In his personal life, Walker Kessler has been in a relationship with Maggie Hellgeth since 2021. While details about their relationship remain private, they are known to have attended different universities, with Hellgeth currently pursuing studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Despite their busy schedules, Kessler and Hellgeth maintain a low-key presence on social media. They occasionally share glimpses of their personal lives, though they prefer to keep their relationship out of the public eye.

Walker Kessler enjoys a substantial following on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. With 77k followers on Instagram and 14.7k followers on Twitter, Kessler uses these platforms to connect with fans, share updates about his basketball career, and provide insights into his interests and experiences.

Kessler’s social media presence primarily consists of basketball-related content, including game highlights, training sessions, and fan interactions. He occasionally shares glimpses of his personal life, offering fans a behind-the-scenes look at his off-court endeavors.

Interesting Facts

  1. Family Basketball Legacy: Walker Kessler comes from a family with a rich basketball legacy. His father, uncle, and brother all played college-level basketball in Georgia, laying the foundation for his basketball journey.

  2. Defensive Dominance: During his college career, Kessler showcased his defensive prowess by setting records for shot-blocking. He set the North Carolina freshman record for most blocks in a game and established Auburn’s single-season record for blocked shots.

  3. Career Highlight: On January 16, 2023, Kessler recorded a remarkable double-double with 20 points, 21 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in a thrilling victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Did Chad Kessler play in the NBA?

Walker’s father, Chad Kessler, was drafted into the NBA but ultimately pursued a medical career as an orthopedic surgeon.

Why did Walker Kessler transfer from the University of North Carolina to Auburn?

Kessler desired to be closer to his family, citing personal reasons and the impact of the pandemic on his decision.

How much does Walker Kessler make?

Kessler’s rookie contract with the Utah Jazz earns him a base salary of $2.696 million for the 2022-23 season, with subsequent increases in the following years.

Walker Kessler Girlfriend Maggie Hellgeth: Personal Life and Artist Career

Maggie Hellgeth is more than just the girlfriend of basketball player Walker Kessler; she’s a talented artist and student with a passion for creativity and expression. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Maggie discovered her love for art at a young age and has honed her skills ever since.

Artistic Passion and Academic Pursuits

Maggie’s passion for art led her to pursue a degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where she is currently studying. She explores various mediums and techniques as a student, focusing on acrylic painting. Her work often delves into different themes and emotions, creating pieces that resonate with viewers.

Family Background

Maggie comes from a family that values creativity. Her father, Christopher Hellgeth, runs a business in the petroleum industry, while her mother, Rebecca Hellgeth, is also a SCAD graduate. Growing up in an environment that celebrated artistic expression likely significantly shaped Maggie’s creative journey.

Social Media Presence and Artistry

Maggie shares her artwork and personal experiences with her audience through social media platforms like Instagram. With over 2,000 followers on her main account, @maggie.hellgeth, she provides a glimpse into her artistic process and daily life. Additionally, Maggie showcases her portfolio on her website,, where art enthusiasts can explore and appreciate her creations in more detail.

Relationship with Walker Kessler

While Maggie is known as the girlfriend of basketball star Walker Kessler, their relationship goes beyond the spotlight. Since 2021, the couple has supported each other’s endeavors and shared a strong bond built on mutual respect and admiration. They find common ground in their shared values and interests despite their different career paths.

Future Career

As Maggie continues her education and artistic pursuits, the future holds endless possibilities. After graduating in 2024, she is poised to make her mark in art and expand her creative horizons. Whether painting on canvas or supporting Walker from the sidelines, Maggie Hellgeth is undoubtedly a talented and driven individual with a bright future.



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