The fastest freshman sharpshooter in Oklahoma has found her home in Aggieland and in the SEC on the Texas A&M women’s basketball team. On Mon., Feb. 11, Courtney Walker was named SEC Freshman of the Week, a distinction that placed her above some really strong competition across the prestigious SEC conference.
It was on the road last week where Walker made major offensive and defensive contributions to the Aggie women’s team, shooting 8 for 10 against LSU for 15 points, a statistic that was an SEC-best 80% shooting, and the second-best in a conference game for Aggie players so far this season. On defense, Walker stole the ball from the Tigers three times and managed a fast-break layup as the Aggies moved into a first-place tie with the 74-57 victory over LSU on Monday, Feb. 8.
Then, Sunday’s matchup against the University of South Carolina followed. Courtney Walker used her arsenal of talent to lead the Aggie defensive effort, shutting down South Carolina’s shooting, and holding them to their season low 28.1%. On the other end of the court, Walker racked up her season-high five offensive rebounds, which helped the Aggies stack up 10 second-chance points. Seven total rebounds against South Carolina on Sunday tied the record for second-most in a game, thus far in the season.
For a freshman to be the second-leading scorer in two games in a week, both on the road no less, is a stellar performance, but it’s really par for the course the way Walker has been playing this season. The Aggie coaches are watching too, and proud of her. On Feb. 4, Assistant Coach Amy Wright tweeted, “@CourtneyJ_33 rounded out the double figure scorers for the Aggies with 16, on 8-of-10 shooting. Walker has made 15 of her last 17 shots.”
The social media-savvy freshman has almost 1,000 followers on Twitter, and one of them appears to be the Aggie president, Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, who recently tweeted thanks to his followers for prayers on his recent kidney stone surgical procedure (which went well). That would be the same President Loftin, who entered Reed Arena sporting a warrior-like headband at the last women's home game. Just another day in Aggieland.
One of Courtney’s recent tweets is not going to be very interesting to TMZ, but it certainly is to the academics on campus. On Feb. 6, she tweeted “OMW to Physics” (OMW: on my way), but that's par for the course for the Computer Engineering major. Just the day before, she’d tweeted “Chelsea Jennings, Architecture Major! with a photo of Chelsea, at a drafting board, hard at work. This would be the same Chelsea Jennings ranked the No. 14 guard in the country by ESPN HoopGurls last year as well as the No. 7 overall prospect in the state of Texas. The 2011 signing class continues to stand out, on and off the court.
What brought the freshman from Edmond, Oklahoma’s Santa Fe here? The highly recruited Oklahoma player shared that she made campus visits to Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, to Baylor and then she came to Aggieland. Courtney really could write her own ticket to any school she wanted, as evidenced in this senior mixtape video compiled as a tribute to her. You have to watch carefully because Walker is fast going up and down that court.
On signing day last year, Walker said two things convinced her to choose A&M: “The Aggie women’s basketball team is really nice; all the players were really nice, and their engineering program is in the Top 10 in the country, and that’s important, too.” Women’s basketball and a Top 10 engineering program, two things that Texas A&M does best.
It’s a safe bet that Walker (#33) is going to continue to earn weekly honors as well as continuing to prove a key player for the Aggies as SEC play continues Thursday as A&M plays host to Florida at Reed Arena.
Coach Blair shared a message for all the men listening to his live radio broadcast from “Wings N More” on Monday night: “Fellas, don’t wait until the last minute planning for your Valentine’s Day celebration. Don’t waste your time on those grocery store, drive-thru rose things. Stop by a florist and get the real deal ordered up for your spouse. The quality will be worth it. And then, plan on eating dinner at 5:30 with your wife and then bringing her over to Reed Arena at 7:30 for the 8:00 pm tip-off.” Tickets are available here.
#33 will be there and, hopefully, so will you. After all, no one has more heart than the fightin' Texas Aggie women's basketball team. As Coach Blair says, "Just try us one time. You'll be back."