WSU sisters leading Cougars women's basketball to new heights

Meet Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker, two sisters from New Zealand, are leading the Washington State University women's basketball program to new heights this season.

Krystal is a redshirt-senior. Charlisse is a freshman and currently the leading scorer in the Pac-12. 

"I just really want the program to grow, and kinda put WSU on the map. Have us in conversations, in the Pac-12, competing in games, really pushing for top spots, making the tournament every year," said Krystal.

Together, the sisters are leading a team picked to finish last in the conference to its first-ever top 25 AP poll ranking in school history.

"It would be so cool if other teams were fearing us all the time coming to play us," said Charlisse. 

The Leger-Walkers' journey to WSU started thousands of miles away in New Zealand.

Growing up, the two women were always surrounded by the sport.

"In high school, I obviously played for my mom, grew up playing for her. And, have just known her as my coach, and just the best coach I've ever had," said Krystal.

"They’re just a combination of their momma and their daddy. Leanne is a fireball, a little point guard and played until she had all three kids and was still playing at a high level. She's trained them since they were babies. They’ve learned this," said WSU women's basketball head coach Kamie Ethridge. 

"It’s so instinctive to them now. And, Eliu, their dad, he's the talker of the family and he's the emotional, you know, gets a feel for his kids and where they are. Just a great combination of both of them," said Ethridge.

It's clear the sisters are following in their mom’s footsteps. She was a member of the New Zealand national team and represented her country in two Olympics. 

Krystal and Charlisse have also gotten the nod from their national team, with Charlisse becoming the youngest member ever to play at just age 16. 

And now, the list of accolades continues to grow, thanks to game-winning shots like the one Charlisse scored in the overtime game against Arizona earlier this month. That win was WSU's first over a top ten team in four years. 

"It's a neat thing to be a part of, a growing and a program on the rise. The culture just fits with their personalities and who they are as people," said Ethridge. "These two kids leading kinda the way, they have some control over being the first time to hang a banner. Could we hang a banner about an NCAA, or Sweet 16 or an Elite 8?"

We’ll wait and see, and who knows what the future holds, they have a younger sister too.