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Oklahoman Super 5 Player of the Year: Edmond Santa Fe's Courtney Walker finds future on basketball court

Her mother thought she had a future in softball, while her father was always amazed with her basketball skills. Courtney Walker decided she preferred basketball, and now the Texas A&M signee is a two-time Oklahoman Super Five Player of the Year.
BY JASON KERSEY Published: April 1, 2012

EDMOND — Lester Turner knew his daughter was bound for hardwood glory when she was a toddler.

He watched in amazement as 3-year old Courtney Walker held a consistent, rhythmic dribble with one hand.

“Up-and-down; up-and-down,” Turner said. “It was an amazing feat for a 3-year-old.”

Courtney Walker's mother, however, thought their daughter's future was in softball. She was part of All-Star teams and demonstrated excellence on the diamond, too, as a youngster.

“I knew she could definitely have a future in softball,” Tonda Walker said. “But her dad seems to have won this one.”

For the second year in a row, Courtney Walker is The Oklahoman's Super 5 Player of the Year after leading Edmond Santa Fe to a Class 6A state championship. Now, she'll move on to play in college at Texas A&M, where she believes she'll have an opportunity to play as a true freshman.

How different things might be had she followed her mother's advice and stuck with softball.

“I just always liked basketball better,” Courtney Walker said. “I really wanted to just focus on one of them in high school, and I chose basketball because I just enjoyed it better.”

Walker visits her dad every summer in Atlanta, where he now lives, and he comes to Oklahoma for some games and special occasions.

On those visits to Atlanta, the father and daughter would often play 1-on-1 in the driveway. It was in one of these games that Turner found out just how big a competitor his daughter was.

“I was raised in a family where I never beat my dad,” Turner said. “So she is playing hard, and when she realized I was probably going to win, she started doing everything she could. Climbing on my back, everything.

“She threw this major tantrum, running down the street. I just had to sit her down and say, ‘Baby, you're not supposed to be able to beat me.'”

Around Courtney Walker's junior year of high school, though, Turner decided to play on the same team with his daughter in pickup games.

“I always said that when I felt like she could beat me, I'd stop playing her,” Turner said with a laugh. “But I think I might could still take her.”

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