Basketball: Charlisse Leger-Walker dominating US college basketball, despite COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has seen many Kiwi athletes' seasons cut short or cancelled, but Charlisse Leger-Walker is quickly making a name for herself in the world of US college basketball.

Just five weeks into her career, she is the leading scorer for Washington State University, a team far exceeding expectations this season.

This week, the 19-year old came up with an incredible game-winning shot that saw her side beat seventh-ranked Arizona.

"When it went in, I mean, it was amazing," Leger-Walker says. "It was so overwhelming.

The moment might have been overwhelming, playing alongside teammate, best friend and older sister Krystal made it even more special.

"I would definitely be the frontrunner for knowing how much effort went into that play," Krystal says. "It's not a fluke shot, she practices it all the time."

The pair were reunited this season, after Krystal transferred from Northern Colorado Unviersity last year.

Now a senior, Krystal enjoys her role as mentor and, of course, older sibling.

"I'll definitely give Charlisse a harder time, but I try to give everyone equal yelling time," Krystal says.

Charlisse adds: "She's hardly ever wrong, so it's great to have someone like that on the team."

The Leger-Walker sisters, whose mother Leanne Walker captained the Tall Ferns at the 2004 Athens Olympics, have been key in the sides seven-win/two-loss record so far this season, silencing the critics that picked them to finish last in the division. 

The Cougars success is spearheaded by leading scorer Charlisse, who has nabbed Conference Freshman of the Week honours four times so far, a team record.

"Charlisse is most definitely the talk of campus," Krystal says. "A couple of months ago, she would've walked past and people would've thought, 'just another Washington student'. 

"But we walked through the weightroom today and people were saying, 'Oh, congrats on last night' and 'What's up, Charlisse!'"

The journey is only just getting started for the Kiwi star, who has her sights firmly on becoming New Zealand's second-ever player in the WNBA.