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Sports >  WSU basketball

Former standout Washington State point guard Krystal Leger-Walker signs pro contract with New Zealand club Northern Kahu

UPDATED: Wed., May 25, 2022

Krystal Leger-Walker  (Associated Press)
Krystal Leger-Walker (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Krystal Leger-Walker, the New Zealand native who captained Washington State’s women’s basketball team during its best two-year run in program history, is heading home to begin her professional career.

The point guard from Waikato signed a contract with Northern Kahu of the top-level Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa League as announced Wednesday by the Auckland-based franchise – located just 80 miles north of Leger-Walker’s hometown.

“The game in New Zealand is transforming, and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Leger-Walker said, quoted in a news release from Northern Kahu. “The Tauihi League to me is more than just the awesome basketball that is going to be on display. It is also about all the women who have come before me, who fought for this league to become a reality. I encourage any and everyone to join us on this journey so we can elevate our game to the next level on home soil.”

Leger-Walker lifted the Cougars with leadership and poised play over the past two seasons, boosting WSU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths – the program’s second and third appearances at the event.

After sitting out the 2019-20 season because of NCAA transfer rules, Leger-Walker started 54 games under coach Kamie Ethridge at WSU and posted averages of 8.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.6 steals in her short but impactful stay at the Pullman school.

Leger-Walker led the Pac-12 Conference in assists in 2020-21 and finished second in that category last season. She played 36 minutes per game in 2021-22 – second in the conference behind her sister, star WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker.

Krystal Leger-Walker earned an All-Pac-12 honorable mention last year and was named an honorable mention all-defense player both seasons.

After graduating from St. Peter’s School in Cambridge, New Zealand, Leger-Walker began her collegiate career under Ethridge at Northern Colorado and made 85 starts, helping the Bears of the Big Sky Conference to the NCAA Tournament in 2018.

Her 139 career college starts are the most for a New Zealand native in women’s or men’s NCAA Division I basketball.

Leger-Walker made her debut for New Zealand’s National Team at age 16. She competed alongside her sister with the Tall Ferns at the 2021 Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan.

Krystal Leger-Walker will play her first game as a pro when Northern Kahu opens its season July 3.

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