Pacelli shooting guard Brea Walker left four season’s worth of opponents in her wake as she set the school scoring record with more than 2,000 career points. Now she looks to college basketball for her next challenge as she signs a letter of intent with Columbus State today, the first day of the NCAA open signing period for high school basketball players.
“(Today) came up so fast,” said Walker, who committed to CSU in November. “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I’m excited to finally get to play at college.”
The signing caps a career Walker’s coaches have described as astounding. She broke the Pacelli career scoring record near the end of a junior season in which she averaged 21.7 points and 12 rebounds per game, and she cemented herself as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,037 career points with 24.7 points and 10 rebounds per game as a senior.
Walker was so in touch with her skills and how to lead her teammates, she made the transition easy for first-year Pacelli coach Monica Sicka.
“This was my first year coaching, and I couldn’t have asked for a better player,” Sicka said. “As a coach, you don’t see players like that very often. She’s very talented, and she will always help others on the team. She’s confident in her abilities as a basketball player, and anything you throw at her she is willing to learn.”
Walker made an immediate impact as a freshman at Pacelli while playing behind Chante Barber and Briuna McKenzie, said Art Thomason, a Kendrick assistant who coached Walker at Pacelli for three seasons. Thomason described Walker as coachable and said she knew from her first game when to follow and when to lead.
“She came in motivated as a freshman and right away established herself as a scorer,” Thomason said. “After our final four year, we went 5-15. Then Brea came in, and we instantly had success again in that region. As far as her role, I’d call her a program-changer.
“She came in right away, went to work rebounding and offensively, and she became a scoring machine.”
Walker said she is ready to see how she can translate her game to the college level and in the Peach Belt Conference, home to Division II national champion Clayton State and several other teams regularly ranked in the top 25.
“It will be much different than high school,” Walker said. “It’s going to take some time to get used to. I really just want to go in and help the team as much as I can. I’m just going to work as much as possible in the offseason, practice when I can and work out on my own. I’m going to be ready.”
Chris White, 706-571-8571; follow Chris online at twitter.com/le_chriswhite and at facebook.com/lechriswhite.