Coming into this year, EMU women’s basketball coach Kevin Griffin knew junior Myneshia Walker (Freeman, Va./Brunswick) would be a key player for his team. Midway through the season, Myneshia has more than responded to the challenge, earning the second Royals Athlete of the Week accolade of her career.
The Royals recently went on a hot streak, winning five in a row before falling to a quality ODAC opponent, Emory and Henry, on the road. Myneshia put up powerful numbers during the stretch, helping her team along the way.
“We are starting to come together as a team and understand each other more,” Myneshia stated on the team’s hot streak.
The 5-7 guard averaged 17.0 points per game last week, including a career high 22 points in the win over Washington and Lee. It was the fourth time this year that she either tied or broke her high mark for scoring. Overall this season, Myneshia is second on the team averaging 12.7 points per game.
Aside from her offensive prowess, Myneshia puts up valuable numbers on the defensive side of the court, averaging 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game on the season. The junior puts a great deal of emphasis on her defensive efforts.
“I put a lot more in my defensive play than my offensive play,” she stated. “I take pride on defense. I really don’t like for people to score on me.”
In the midst of a young team, Myneshia was one of only a handful of returners for the Royals. She is also the only regular starter back from last year’s 18-8 team. With being the most experienced player on the team, a leadership role becomes inevitable. Myneshia takes this responsibility head on, but does so in a way that she challenges her teammates to watch her play.
“I see myself as a great leader on the team,” Myneshia added. “I do whatever the team needs me do to help us win and I have always been the type of leader to lead by example or in the way I play.”
Coach Griffin echoes his player’s sentiments on selfless play.
“Myneshia is the ultimate team player,” he explained. “She does not care about playing time, scoring or words printed about her, she just wants us to be successful. She is quiet in her demeanor but is very competitive, she is not only well liked by her teammates, but she is also highly respected as a player and as a person. She is a pleasure to coach, fun to be around and always brings an effort every day.”
Despite a youth-filled roster, the Royals recently won eight out of nine games, and are in the top half of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference standings. Myneshia’s leadership has been an integral part for the team’s success so far, but she said she looks to continue moving forward to prove that her team is more than just a rebuilding team.
Myneshia is a sociology major and plans to use her studies to work with children in the future. Basketball, being a prominent part of her time at Eastern Mennonite University, is something that will help her with her future vocation.
When speaking on her studies and how basketball has helped her along the way, Myneshia said, “I plan to use that to work with kids in my future and basketball has prepared me to do that by working with people and by being patient.”