With a varsity cumulative average of 8.9 points scored per each game, according to MaxPreps, and an average of 13.5 points scored during this season so far, Walker’s talent is well beyond just her leadership skills. Coaching Walker since the seventh grade, Diane Peterson, Redwood’s current girls' varsity basketball coach, has witnessed Walker improve on and off the court.
“I believe Jenny gives off a dominating presence as a leader when she's on the court. She always wants to make a big play, whether it's a great move to the basket on offense or a great defensive play and a block on defense. She talks to her teammates throughout the game which also makes her presence known on the court,” Peterson said.
Over the past few years, Walker has been awarded a variety of recognitions, including an honorable mention for MCALS and the Marin Independent Journal’s “Girls Prep of the Week.” She also had the opportunity to play for Cal Stars, an elite girls’ basketball program that allowed her to travel to various locations around the nation to play in tournaments against other elite teams.
As the next step in her basketball career, Walker has committed to New York University (NYU), which offers Division III athletics. After participating in a recruiting tournament for Cal Stars in Chicago, NYU reached out to her.
“At first, I wanted to go to a really big school, but then I realized that in college I want to focus on my academics and I want to play basketball, so I started looking at Division IIIs. I went to smaller schools like Vassar and Smith but I just felt like they were too small,” Walker said. “I visited and I saw everything that I had to see, but with New York, every day there’s something happening.”
Since middle school, her dream college for playing basketball had been Stanford, but as she progressed, her mindset shifted.
“I realized that it’s okay if you’re not the best. I was getting so caught up in not being on the top team and not scoring enough points, but once I took away that mindset of, ‘I’m not scoring,’ I started scoring way more,” Walker said.
After completing college, playing basketball professionally is not a part of Walker’s plans, but she says it will always be an integral part of her life. She hopes to play basketball for the college team, but to also focus on her academics while studying marketing and communications at NYU. Upon graduating, her history with the sport will remain as an emphasized sentimental value.
“I am going to be that parent in the stands at my child’s basketball game cheering. I am going to have a hoop at my house playing with my kids. It’s always going to be a part of me,” Walker said.