How Gophers' big man Mo Walker lost 60 pounds

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When Richard Pitino was hired as the new men's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota, Mo Walker quickly found out he was in for a summer filled with cardio.

Pitino told Walker that he needed to lose weight in order to play the up-tempo style of basketball Pitino likes to us. Walker responded by losing 60 pounds. He's currently listed at 250 pounds on his bio at GopherSports.com.

GopherHole.com's Nadine Babu caught up with Walker for a Q&A on how he accomplished the tremendous feat.

GopherHole: How much weight have you lost?
Mo Walker: I’ve lost 60 pounds.

GopherHole: How did you do that? I know you said there were no tricks involved.
Mo Walker: Just gotta eat right, stay disciplined, cut the snacking, eat healthy foods, and workout.

GopherHole: So what do you eat during the day?
Mo Walker: Now with the season going I am back to my regular diet, eating an extra breakfast, omelet or something. A good lunch, with a salad and at dinner a chicken or steak with some vegetables.

GopherHole: What was the biggest change?
Mo Walker: During the summer I was working out sometimes three times a day. I would do cardio in the morning, lift in the afternoon and some sort of workout in the evening. Now we do workouts and lifting.

GopherHole: With the past coaching staff, did they ask you to lose weight?
Mo Walker: They had a little pressure, but I feel a lot more pressure to be in shape with this staff. In the offseason this was my only goal.

GopherHole: How has your new weight changed your game?
Mo Walker: I’m better moving up and down the court, better athletically. I am jumping up and down more, I can play for longer stretches now.

GopherHole: What do you think the biggest difference is with the new coaches?
Mo Walker: Both staffs are great. Coach Smith gave me the opportunity to be here and I appreciate that. Coach Pitino, he really pushes us and wants to make us the best players we can be.

GopherHole: Who will surprise fans this year?
Mo Walker: I think DeAndre Mathieu, he’s really quick, great at finding teammates and finishing.

Walker's improved health helped him dominate with 17 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes in Minnesota's exhibition win over Concordia-St. Paul on Monday.

"Mo was very good -- 17 and 13 in only 24 minutes," Pitino said after the game, via FOX Sports North. "It just shows you he's playing with a lot of confidence, feels good about himself."

The Gophers open the non-conference portion of the regular season schedule against Lehigh on Friday night at Williams Arena.

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