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WSU's Leger-Walker sisters running through the Pac-12

The WSU women might make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991 this season. The New Zealand sisters are a huge part of the program's surge.
Credit: WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. — The WSU women’s basketball team is seeing unprecedented success this season. 

They are currently 6-1 and projected to go to the NCAA Tournament by ESPN.

Redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker and her freshman sister Charlisse Leger-Walker are both new to the Pac-12 this year and are taking the conference by storm. 

What’s crazy is that they weren’t even supposed to play NCAA basketball together as Krystal would’ve graduated last year if she hadn’t have transferred from Northern Colorado and had to sit out a year.

“Obviously, it was just meant to be,” said Charlisse of how it all worked out.

Krystal was recruited by her former coaching staff at Northern Colorado to come join them at WSU when she put her name into the transfer portal in 2019. Then, the work began on her little sister joining the squad.

“I gave her a little like, ‘I really want you to come but no pressure.’ The whole time I was definitely sitting there anxiously waiting for where she was going to go,” recalled Krystal.

Now, the New Zealand natives are starting to see success, even if it takes a bit of nudging from each other from time to time.

“It definitely helps having Charlisse here knowing that she’s giving me a look like, ‘Why aren’t you shooting that?’” said Krystal with a smile.

“It would be funny if you mic’d us up on the court and just heard what we say to each other because it would be hilarious,” Charlisse chimed in. 

“In trainings Krystal knows exactly what I’m going to do and she’ll get up all over me and be super aggressive. I would argue more aggressive than how she plays other people in the gym because she knows I can probably take a little more physicality, but it’s definitely a good thing. I think it makes me better,” said Charlisse.

Charlisse in particular is having a stellar freshman season as she is leading the entire Pac-12 in scoring at 19 points per game.

“I’m not really surprised," said Krystal of her sister. "I was kind of the only person who knew what we were getting when she signed truly in terms of what she can bring to the table. Not just the tangible stuff, like all the statistics you see. All the intangible things, like her leadership, poise, attitude, and just the maturity that she brings. I just knew that we were getting a great get there.”

A great get that could help lead the squad somewhere they haven’t been since 1991: The NCAA Tournament.

“A couple months ago we were in there, in our gym, and coach was talking before practice and she was like, ‘Look around. We have no banners on these walls. We need something to hang our hat on and something to look at that we’ve accomplished. We’re looking around at bare walls.’ She really just set the tone that you really haven’t done something until you have something to show for it,” recalled Krystal.

Oh, and by the way, due to the NCAA’s rules for eligibility during coronavirus, Krystal could return for a super-super-senior season next year, so we may see more of the duo. 

She hasn’t decided yet, but don’t worry, Charlisse is working on it.

“It’s just a lot of whispering in her ear of being like, ‘See that was a great game. You want to do that for another year?’ It’s definitely there, but she’ll make the right decision. No pressure," said Charlisse with a smile.