Born in 1970 in Washington, D.C., Walt attended Crossland High School in Temple Hills, MD. He then began his college career at the University of Maryland in 1988, and is credited by many for resurrecting the school's basketball program, along with his head coach and fellow Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gary Williams.
In 1989, Maryland was on the verge of receiving major sanctions from the NCAA but rather than transfer to another school, Walt chose to remain at Maryland and play under new coach Gary Williams. It was a tremendous boost for the coach, who had to start rebuilding the program from the bottom up while dealing with both the sanctions and tougher academic standards now imposed by the school. Walt, knicknamed the "Wizard," was on the Associated Press All-America Second Team as a senior at Maryland in 1992, averaging a school-record 26.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals. He scored 20 or more points in 19 straight games and broke fellow Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame member Len Bias's single-season point total record at Maryland by with 776 points as a senior.
Williams is known for wearing his socks to his knees, he wore them high in honor of boyhood idol George Gervin.