UConn recruit Megan Walker named Gatorade national player of the year
You've got to dig deep to cap the kind of year Megan Walker has had.
Win a gold medal with USA Basketball? Check.
Get crowned homecoming queen? Check.
Sign a national letter of intent to play for four-time defending national champion Connecticut? Check.
Lead your team to an undefeated season and a third straight state title? Score 35 points in the state championship game? Including your team's final 16 points and the game winner? Check, check and check.
And so it was that Walker, a 6-foot-1 senior shooting guard at Monacan (Richmond, Virginia), found herself at the Verizon Center Wednesday night for the Wizards-Mavericks NBA game. On the floor. Face to face with Elena Delle Donne, the WNBA superstar and new member of the WNBA's Washington Mystics.
And an oversized trophy.
In a surprise ceremony, Walker was named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year during an intermission. Her family had told her they were going to the game to celebrate her many accomplishments. It wasn't until she saw Delle Donne with a trophy in her hands that it sunk in.
"I didn't see it coming," said Walker, who earned the Virginia state award earlier this week as well as the Naismith Player of the Year award. "My family did a great job surprising me. This is definitely a big shocker."
The No. 1 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100, Walker averaged 25.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.2 assists per game this past season. She finished her high school career with 2,062 points.
Walker is the fourth UConn-bound recipient of the Gatorade national award in the past seven years, following Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (2011), Breanna Stewart (2012) and Katie Lou Samuelson (2015). Last year the award went to Erin Boley, now a freshman at Notre Dame.
Walker will be in the spotlight on another NBA court again later this month when she plays in the McDonald's All American Games at the United Center in Chicago on March 29.
She plans to enroll at UConn in May before graduating from Monacan in June, officially closing the book on an epic senior season.
Asked for the title of her storybook season, Walker said with a laugh, "The Awesome Life of Megan Walker."