Q&A With Charlisse Leger-Walker

What is your full name and where are you from?

Charlisse Leger-Walker, 

Hamilton, New Zealand 

Ko Whakatōhea te iwi 

My mother is from Opotiki and my father from Tokoroa. 

I am Maori and Samoan. 

Why did you choose the game of basketball? 

Ive played basketball ever since I could remember, but I play because I love the game and I want to make my family proud. I play because it brings me closer to other people and I am happy when I’m out on the court. 

What schools have you attended? and what are your achievements and highlights? 

St Peter’s Cambridge – 4 national championships (+ 5 MVP awards – 5 tournament team awards) 

5th in the world secondary school championships (held in Greece 2019) 

4x 3×3 national championships 

Washington State (current) 

Highlights – Ranked in AP top #25 

Upsetting #8 Arizona and #5 UCLA 

(Making history with this team and breaking records) 

You are a role model for young women, what advice do you have for them getting into basketball?

Go and play in as many tournaments and games as you can! The more you play the better you will get! Don’t be afraid to start everyone started at some point! 

What has been the ultimate highlight so far in your career? 

Going to the commonwealth games and winning a bronze medal! 

Who has been your biggest influence in basketball and why?

My mother – Leanne Walker. She is my lifelong basketball coach, has taught me everything I know and is the one person who has constantly supported and pushed me to be the player I am today. Alongside dad she is the main reason I am where I am today. 

Where do you see women’s basketball in the next five years in New Zealand? 

I hope to see The Tall Ferns on a world stage competing against the toughest teams and winning. I hope to see the women’s Programme getting more support and funding so that we can make that a reality. 

Who is the ultimate women’s basketball player in New Zealand?

Megan Compain 

Who is the ultimate men’s basketball player in New Zealand? 

Pero Cameron or Steven Adams 

In terms of your playing career, what would be the pinnacle for you? 

Playing in The WNBA championship

Whats the best pair of basketball shoes you have owned? 

KD13 Aunt pearls 

Who has been the hardest person to guard in your career and why? 

Cherilyn Molina (Junior player in my team) she is so quick and once she gets downhill there is no stopping her, she’s also a very good defender and hard to play against.

Who is the greatest player of all time and why?

Lebron – because he makes the best shoes 

You are currently playing for the Washington State Cougars with your sister Krystal, please tell me about this experience? 

I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to help me start my college career. Not only is she my sister but she’s someone who will have my back no matter what and will be there for me whenever I need her. Her knowledge and experience has prepared me so well for college and I will be forever grateful to her for that. 

If you had one piece of advice for your younger self, what would it be? 

When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is. 

#BuildTheCulture 🏀

Published by Jesse Wallis

Basketball Journalist

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