Sophomore guard Payshance Walk was determined to have a successful season with the Crenshaw girls’ basketball team. Her efforts and diligence helped the Cougars to a 22-7 overall record and 10-0 record in the Coliseum League.
This season, Walk made 6.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. During their 66-30 victory over Bishop Conaty-Loretto, Walk contributed a season high of 13 points.
“My role on the team is to be just an all-around player,” she said. “To help anybody on the court and off the court.”
This past season was not only her first season playing varsity basketball, but her first school year at Crenshaw after spending her first year at Santa Monica High School. Walk noted how getting acclimated to the school was easier than she thought.
“Nobody feels left out,” she said. “When I first got here, I thought I was gonna feel left out because I’ve never been at a LAUSD [school], but I got here, I felt welcome.”
The transition allowed walk to better showcase her skills on the court. It has made her a stronger player, both mentally and physically. However, the transition did not come without disapproval.
“Many people told me that this transfer over here from Santa Monica was gonna be a waste of my time,” Walk said. “To keep winning and keep going and pushing towards my goal is to show them my transfer wasn’t a waste of time.”
A defining moment for Walk was when she had to battle against her former high school last November. She kept a strong focus on defeating Santa Monica, giving 11 points, four rebounds and two steals to help the Cougars secure a 50-44 victory.
“I really shut out that game and I played well,” Walk said. “I like that game, that was one of my favorite games and one of my hardest games.”
The Santa Monica Vikings showed hostility towards the Cougars, Walk learned how to be persistent and stay out of her head because of that game.
“When I kind of sat back and the coaches were in my head, my coach told me to get out of my head,” she said. “Soon as I got out of my head, I played a better game.”
Walk has been following the Los Angeles Sparks since the age of nine; she looks up to WNBA All-Star forward Nneka Ogwumike.
“She basically plays how I am,” Walk said. “She could be down in the post, sometimes she helps guards. She’s one of my favorite players.”
Finding a balance between academics and sports can be arduous at times but Walk found a way to fulfill both obligations.
“I can do my homework when practice is over,” she said. “I’ve been able to balance it.”
Her favorite class is Chemistry, she enjoys conducting science experiments. Along with being a competitor in basketball, Walk also volunteers to help at basketball tournaments. She has experience working the scoreboard and at the concession stands.