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Megan Walker, former Monacan standout, hopes to lead Phoenix Mercury to WNBA playoffs

Megan Walker
Posted at 12:01 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 00:02:52-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Megan Walker was all smiles recently when she hosted her first basketball camp at her alma mater Monacan High School.

"A great feeling to just have all my people here that helped me get started and helped me to where I am today is a really awesome feeling," Walker said.

The place where Walker accomplished many of her basketball goals.

"Like I would never think back to when I was in high school like this would actually come true," Walker said. "Like I would achieve all my goals and dreams."

Megan Walker
Megan Walker

Being with the campers at Monacan for her camp brought back some great memories for arguably the most decorated basketball player in school history.

"To me it's good times with great people," she said. "I think of all the relationships I built over the years and how they're still with me today."

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Monacan was the foundation for where Walker is now, that is as a WNBA player.

"I just really have been enjoying the moment," she said. "It's really setting in to me that I am a WNBA player now. This is my career and I'm going to be successful at it."

Walker's first year in the league was anything but normal.

"Rookie year, I always feel like you're going to be uncomfortable," she said. "As a rookie, everything is brand new."

The former ninth overall pick of the New York Liberty missed all of training camp and the first two regular season games after she tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I mean it was just...you know we were in a situation," she said. "The whole world was going through a situation...what they were going through."

Walker averaged less than four points per game while she dealt with an injured hip during her rookie season with the Liberty.

"I just took it with a grain of salt and try to make the best of the situation that I was in," she said.

And Walker did that during the off season as she played overseas for the first time with the Sopron Basket in Hungry's A League.

"As athletes, we figure things out. You know, we compete, that's what we do," she explained. "So, at the end of the day, when there's an obstacle in your journey, you overcome it."

Megan Walker and her agent, Ticha Penicheiro, who played 15 years in the WNBA.
Megan Walker and her agent, Ticha Penicheiro, who played 15 years in the WNBA.

Ticha Penicheiro, Walker's agent who played 15 years in the WNBA, said she was "very happy."

"She has handled everything with class and with grace," Penicheiro said. "I wish all my players were like Megan, I would really have an easy job."

Walker averaged over 14 points per night, nearly six rebounds, shot 60% from the field and over 43% from the three-point line as she led them to an undefeated regular season.

"It was amazing," Walker said. "I'm so glad that I was able to go overseas, play Euroleague, play with great vets as well, Briane January...all-star, champion. Gabby Williams, Olympian now so, it was just great to have those people that I was so close to, to guide me and to look out for me. I was able to develop."

As Walker returned stateside to begin year two in the WNBA, it will be in a different uniform. She was a part of a trade from New York to Phoenix. Going from a team that was rebuilding to one with championship aspirations.

"Being traded from New York to Phoenix I think was one of the best things that could ever happen for my career," Walker said. "With Diana Taurasi, Britanny Griner, Skyler Diggs, just having those veterans above me, looking out for me and stuff like that is going to be great for my career."

Megan Walker
Megan Walker

Helping Walker's transition with the Mercury a smooth one both on and off the court.

"They're just telling me to be confident. Always stay confident. They're like, 'You're talented. You're able to do a bunch of things.' They would help the team in a bunch of different ways, and they want that from me.

Penicheiro said the most important thing for Walker is to stay humble, continue to learn and put in the work.

"And just trust the process really, because it is a process," Penicheiro added.

"I'm on one of the best teams in the WNBA. How can you be upset about being a role player, you know what I mean?" Walker said. "I'm taking it with a grain of salt. I show up every day, do my job and just try to compete and help those guys out as best I can."