Basketball: Charlisse Leger-Walker follows sister Krystal to Washington State University

Charlisse Leger-Walker in action with the Tall Ferns.
Charlisse Leger-Walker in action with the Tall Ferns. Photo credit: Getty

Tall Ferns guard Charlisse Leger-Walker has accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Washington State University, joining older sister Krystal. 

The 18-year-old from St Peter's School in Cambridge signed her letter of intent, accepting the offer of a full scholarship to attend the Pac-12 school, where she will play under coach Kamie Ethridge and against some of the best women's teams in the country.

Attending university is the latest step in Leger-Walker's promising career, which saw her become the youngest player to represent the women's national team, aged 16, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. 

Several US colleges were interested in Leger-Walker, but the opportunity to play alongside her sister and 1988 Olympic gold medalist Ethridge was hard to refuse. 

"Throughout the entire recruiting process, there were a lot of schools that really appealed to me, whether it was because of basketball, academia, the campus or the people," she says. 

"I love the staff at Washington and what they have planned for the future. Coach 'E' has coached multiple USA teams and also won an Olympic gold medal as a player.

"She has many accolades, but what I love best about her is that she demands the best from her players and pushes them out of their comfort zones with good intention."

Leger-Walker wants to study environmental science and business, with the goal of merging the two fields together.

Krystal Leger-Walker will resume her collegiate career, after sitting out last season under NCAA transfer rules. 

She played three years at Northern Colorado under Ethridge, but followed her coach to Pullman last year.. 

The global COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted US colleges, but Leger-Walker is regularly communicating with her future team and coaches, who have equipped her with programmes and workouts to ensure she’s ready, when the US season resumes. 

Leger-Walker comes from a strong basketball background, with mother Leanne representing New Zealand at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics.