Northern Kāhu are delighted to announce the signing of Krystal Leger-Walker for the upcoming Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa season.
Off the back of an outstanding NCAA collegiate career, the Waikato native couldn’t be more excited to be returning to New Zealand to commence her professional career.
“I am extremely pumped to play in the Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa League. The game in New Zealand is transforming and I’m honoured to be part of it.”
“The Tauihi League to me is more than just the awesome basketball that is going to be on display.
“It is also about all the women who have come before me, who fought for this league to become a reality.
“I encourage any and everyone to join us on this journey so we can elevate our game to the next level on home soil.”
Krystal played 142 NCAA Division I collegiate games making 139 starts.
Her 139 appearances in the starting five is a record for the most starts by a Kiwi in women’s or men’s NCAA Division I basketball.
Krystal made her collegiate debut back in 2016 when University Northern Colorado (UNC) Head Coach Kamie Ethridge inserted her freshman guard into the starting line-up.
Not long out of St Peter’s School, Cambridge, Krystal didn’t disappoint - playing 33 minutes she was one of only two UNC players in double figures (11 points), dished 5 assists and came up with 2 steals and 3 rebounds in her debut appearance.
She went on to play 88 games in three seasons at Northern Colorado (2016-2019), helping guide the Bears to the Big Sky Tournament Conference title and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018.
Following the season 2018-19 season Krystal made the decision to follow Coach Etheridge to Washington State University Cougars (WSU) where she also linked up with sister Charlisse.
After sitting out the 2019-20 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules Krystal enjoyed two productive years at WSU, playing in the elite Pac 12 Conference, leading the Cougars to consecutive appearances at the NCAA Tournament.
Away from the court Krystal has completed a degree in Business Administration specialising in Management and Finance. She has also embarked on her Masters studying Sports Management.
Leger-Walker handled the pressures of playing point guard with aplomb, her vision enabling her to chalk up 621 career assists at an impressive 4.5 per game.
Factor in 1,032 career points, 589 rebounds and 231 steals and the numbers demonstrate the all-court game the 24 year-old possesses. It’s also a pointer as to why she debuted for the Tall Fern’s as a teenager.
Krystal first played for the Tall Ferns as a 16 year-old back in 2014. She resumed her international career at the 2021 Asia Cup in Amman last October playing for Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy for the first time.
Molloy enthused about the performance of his point guard.
“Krystal played with tremendous energy and hustle, led the team well as the point guard and came up with some clutch shooting and penetration when required.
“I’m hoping she is an important part of the Tall Ferns in coming years and I’m excited at new levels that she could reach,” he added.
The Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa season will enable Krystal to further showcase her skills in front of the national selectors.
Krystal will link up with the Kāhu next month on her return from the States.
Leger-Walker joins Micaela Cocks, Akiene-Tea Reed, Tahlia Tupaea, Ash Kelman-Poto and Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu as announced Kāhu signings. More player announcements will follow in the coming weeks.
The Kāhu play their first home game, against Tokomanawa Queens at Franklin Pool & Leisure Centre on Monday July 4.
As Krystal says, “It’s time to join us on this journey.”
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