UConn signee Megan Walker named Gatorade National Player of the Year
UConn signee Megan Walker hits the game-winning basket with 14 seconds left to lift Monacan High School to its third straight Virginia 4A state title. The victory caps a 30-0 season and Walker will leave having led Monacan to 53 wins in a row.
Then she is named the winner of the Naismith national high school player of the year award.
Tonight she is at the Verizon Center for the NBA game between Washington and Dallas. She is asked to come onto the court because she is going recognized for winning another state title - or so she thought.
As she was waving to the crowd as she was requested to do, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne came up from behind and presented her with the Gatorade National Girls' Basketball Player of the Year award.
"I looked down and read national player of year and it started setting in what was going on," Walker said.
Walker averaged 25.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game in leading Monacan to
a 30-0 season and third consecutive Virginia 4A championship. Walker had 35 points (one
shy of her season high) in the 4A title game including 18 in the fourth quarter. Walker's
jumper in the lane with 14 seconds left lifted Monacan to the 60-59 victory.
Walker finished with 13 games with at 30 points and 25 double-doubles in her four
seasons at Monacan.
"This year the leadership came out because we were two-time state champs and I knew this year was going to be harder so I had to make sure our team, we were on the same page," Walker said.
Walker is the eighth future, current or former UConn player to win the award joining
Tamika Williams, Ann Strother, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Breanna
Stewart and Katie Lou Samuelson.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma compared Walker's potential impact on the Huskies as being
similar to what Samuelson has accomplished. No, the Hall of Fame coach isn't expecting
Walker to be the 3-point shooter that Samuelson is but does think her size will enable
her to play multiple positions when she gets to UConn.
"There is not a lot that Meg can't do," Auriemma said. "I am looking forward to getting
her up here, let's put it that way.
"When you are her size you are not limited to just one thing. She is like Lou (Katie Lou
Samuelson), not as tall but you can put her anywhere on the floor and be successful. It
is just a matter of repetition and being put in the situation where you aren't the best
player on the floor every minute of every day. There is a reason why everybody in
America thought she was the best player because of the many things that she can do and
not the one thing that she can do."
Normally I would write that the next step for Walker (other than playing in two national high school all-star games) would be her high school graduation before she heads up to UConn for summer session. However, she will be enrolled in summer session before she actually dons her cap and gown to receive her high school diploma.
"I am looking forward to getting there, start workouts and getting better," Walker said. "I think I really enjoy the process more than anything."
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