RUSTON, La. (KTVE/KARD) — “I started playing in 7th grade and I really just played because my friends played and i was good at all. I sucked, I was like the last person to get in a game.” says Keiunna Walker.
Louisiana Tech Women’s Basketball junior guard Kieunna Walker is one the top basketball athletes for the Lady Techsters during the 2021-22 season Kiuenna earned multiple honors in the conference and was named the Louisiana sports writer association player of the week four times this season.
Before Kieunna became the prominent athlete in the Lady Techsters basketball program she takes us through the journey of when basketball became the sport of her life
“End of ninth grade year I scored the winning shot in the last second to win the game and then I was just like ok I’m decent at this sport but I’m just really athletic. So I just started, I got really competitive and I just started doing better and better and I didn’t like work outside of basketball season but I played volleyball and track so I just went from sports to sports so I just stayed in shape. End of my junior year that’s when I started to get a little seriously I was like ok I can actually go and play college ball so Louisiana tech was my only biggest offer and I was like well I should go and see how it is. ” says Walker.
Incoming into her freshmen season kieunna was faced with a minor set back of something she was not use to
“My freshmen year I was like, we played our first game, our first conference game and I was not used to sit on the bench and my leg was shaking, I was like I’m never going to get in then I had got freshmen of the week one time my ankle and I was like that when I was just like I’m never gonna play really so I just like I don’t care anymore,” says Walker.
After her freshmen season and battling with the thoughts of not continuing to play it was the support from her family that motivated her to stay and continue to play.
“I would call my people from back home and I would just cry on the phone freshmen year and I was like I’m ready to go but they were like no you should just wait it out things will get better and I was like no it’s not gonna get better and I did, I stayed and things got better,” says Walker.
Things did eventually get better for kieunna during the 2021-22 season she scored 27 points and set season-highs with 15 rebounds and 10 assists. She saw action and started all 33 games.
Averaged 18.9 points along with 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.8 steals — totaled 625 points, 144 rebounds, 88 assists, and 60 steals, while also drawing 43 charges.
Finished the year leading the team in points, steals, and charges drawn while finishing second in assists and rebounds.
After being named Conference USA player of the week on Feb. 28 for her performance against rice university in a double-overtime win where she registered the fourth triple-double in program history.
As the Lady Techsters won the conference USA west division title on their homecourt and made their 34th post-season national tournament appearance.
On the night of the 8th annual Techspy at Louisiana tech – Kieunna Walker and teammate Anna Larr Robinson were shocked to win the moment of the year award.
So I was kind of like sitting back because I just thought we weren’t going to win it because bowling was winning everything so we just sat back and when they said women’s basketball I and anna just looked at each other like did we really win but then we go back and like we were up there with LeBron James and all the names this never happens this is the only third time its happened in history so we just like we got this award and we were just excited because we’re a great duo on the court. Because at the beginning when I and anna were here she had got here a year after I wasn’t like this I think this really sparked us at the end of last season to this season, I believe we are the best duo in conference USA” says Walker.
But there was one more award that shocked Kieunna as she heard her name called for the female Gatorade player of the year.
Anything like that in high school didn’t win anything like that. So when once they said my name for gatorade player of the year I was really excited I already knew what I was going to say in my speech I atleast was going to give one speech so I had one speech ready and when I got up there I thanked everybody that believed in me and all that and I was excited to be there.” says Walker.
When it’s all said and done keiunna already has in mind what she will be doing after college
“I know I want to play basketball after college so if it’s not wnba draft im going to play overseas for a year and see if I like it so im going to be playing basketball after college.” says Walker.
Keiunna Walker will returns for her season on the court later this fall for the 2022-23 ncaa women’s basketball season for louisiana tech.