Topic: Basketball

Leger-Walker follows in mother and sisters footsteps

By Eru Paranihi
  • Auckland

Charlisse Leger-Walker is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her mum Leanne and older sister Krystal by gaining selection into the Tall Ferns basketball squad for the 2017 Asia Cup. If selected, Leger-Walker will also become the youngest Tall Fern at 15-years old.

Despite being the youngest at camp, Leger-Walker (Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou) is showing these experienced players how it is done.

Leger-Walker says, “It's just like a whole different level coming. I've played in other New Zealand teams but the intensity and playing with girls that are much older than me, it's a whole different experience.”

Her older sister Krystal has been helpful with her transition from the Junior Tall Ferns to the senior side. Both enjoy a competitive relationship on the court too.

“So I actually came into camp when I was 16. I thought that was great, and it was. I would always joke with her like there was no way you're going to beat me, I'm going to have one up on you for this. She's coming in at 15, so that's so cool,” says Leger-Walker (Krystal).

Coach Kennedy Kereama believes the young 15-year old has what it takes to compete with the countries best players.

“It's great to be able to bring some of these young kids into this environment here to see how they respond. I think she did a great job today on the floor,” says Kereama. 

For the young baller, who plays her regional basketball in the Waikato, she's just happy to be rubbing shoulders with the country's best players.

“Going over there will be such a cool experience. Yeah, that'll be really exciting.”

 Kereama is expected to announce his final squad for the Asia Cup by the end of this week. But for Leger-Walker, there's no doubt.