This year, the first team all-leaguer is back but with a new role that she is gladly taking on.
“Point guard wasn’t necessarily my first position. Last year I definitely had to step up into a new role,” Walker said. “I love what I play now. It’s a little more versatile. I definitely can still handle the one whenever Sara (Schopper) needs me to, but I’m cool with whatever.”
With the addition of freshman Gabby Williams at point guard, Walker can go back to doing what she does best — everything.
Walker is the epitome of the do-everything player. She can play four positions on the floor, making her an invaluable asset for the Blue and Gold.
“It’s great for your team captain to play all those spots,” Reed girls basketball coach Sara Schopper said. “Her leadership on the floor and her directing everybody has been awesome. She’s been vocal and sets the tempo right off the bat. The girls follow her lead. I think it’s given her a better range for the game because you can put her in different scoring spots. She’s had to pick up some boards with only having one big girl instead of two.
“She’s just an unselfish player. She’ll sacrifice her body. She’ll play anywhere we need her. She wants to hang a banner. She wants to walk out her senior year with a Zone championship and get to state. She’s had a taste for it every year and has gotten close. It’s her final year and she definitely wants it.”
Walker is also a team captain, a role she is carrying on in the footsteps of the other captains she played with since her freshman year.
“Ever since my freshman year, I’ve played under great seniors and good captains. They’ve all kind of contributed to that, so I’m hoping to be the captain for the team that I always had,” Walker said.
It hasn’t always been easy for Walker. She had to persevere through a knee injury which limited her during her sophomore season. She had surgery to realign her kneecap and missed about half that season.
Still, Schopper has been impressed with Walker’s progression.
“She’s been on varsity for four years, going from this shy little girl. It’s amazing how much they grow up,” Schopper said. “She’s mature, vocal and knows the system. She teaches the system. She can go out there and teach a drill for me. It’s nice to have someone echoing you. She sets the tone for the next years to follow. I think her leaders, Erica (McKenzie) and Danielle (Peacon) set the tempo for her. It’s a nice little system we have here, and I think it works well.”
Reed has started off 6-0 this winter and opens High Desert League play at home against cross-town rival Spanish Springs at 6 p.m. tonight. Walker is looking forward to taking the season one game at a time and seeing where the Raiders end up when all is said and done.
“I’m excited. We still have a lot we need to work on,” Walker said. “It’s early. The few games we’ve played, we’ve looked good, but we definitely still have a lot to work on. I like our focus. We’re pretty focused and ready to play and everyone has good attitudes.”