UConn freshman Megan Walker has had a target on her back for years.
Ever since she was named the top women's basketball recruit in the class of 2017 as a sophomore, Walker knew others would be gunning to wrestle that distinction away from her. That left her two options: She could either continue to improve and increase her stranglehold on the top ranking, or she could get complacent and risk another player surpassing her. The thought of the latter terrified her.
"(I'm always) wanting to be better than the next person. Everyone is always chasing you, trying to catch up. So just staying ahead, that's my motivation," Walker recently told STACK. "(That helped me) get in the extra workouts by myself. Friday night, when everyone else is out, you're in the gym by yourself, getting better."
No one ever caught up.
Walker led Monacan High School (West Chesterfield, Virginia) to three state championships while capturing just about every individual accolade you can imagine. Her final high school game was a showcase of her dominance. With Monacan down by double digits during the fourth quarter of the state championship, Walker took over. She scored her team's final 16 points, including the game-winning basket, to pull out a 60-59 victory:
Walker finished the game with an absurd stat line of 35 points, 11 rebounds, 6 blocks and 5 steals. She's a 6-foot-1 shooting guard with a silky jumper, a polished post game and a wicked handle. Oh, and she can dunk. All signs indicate Walker has the talent and the mindset to become UConn basketball's next superstar. But she knows nothing will be handed to her—which is just the way she likes it.
"I'm going to work hard to start, but I don't expect anything to be given to me. I'm a freshman all over again," Walker told USA Today.
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