The 5-foot-11 guard from Beaver County, Pa., took four trips to College Park. And each one, she said, “I liked it more and more.”
When Walker-Kimbrough, decided to commit to the Terps on Saturday night, she seemed to swap roles with Maryland coach Brenda Frese. It was Walker-Kimbrough who took on the role of calculated professional.
Frese was more giddy. As first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Frese reacted with a shout upon learning of Walker-Kimbrough’s commitment.
“I couldn’t even understand what she was saying. She was screaming, and there were screams in the background from the assistant coach Tina Langley and the other freshmen,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “Her reaction was amazing.”
Walker-Kimbrough, who is described by her AAU coach Ron Mumbray as a straight-A student at Hopewell High School, said she chose Maryland mostly for its academics. But on the court, too, she appears to be a smart fit for the Terps’ intense style.
“Maryland’s style of play, they’re real up-tempo, athletic, pressing, transition, and that’s how I play,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “When I get a rebound, I just like to go. No half-court sets. And Maryland is a run-and-jump team. Press, easy buckets, that’s what I like to do.”
Mumbray said that Walker-Kimbrough’s athleticism is “off the charts.”
“The best part of her game is transition, cross over, good outside shooter, great range. Quick off her feet. Just very athletic and smooth.”
Walker-Kimbrough said she also held offers from Duquesne, Villanova, Cincinnati, Xavier, St. Joseph’s, Dayton and Pittsburgh. Mumbray added that Michigan and Purdue also offered her a scholarship. She eventually narrowed the list down to just Maryland and Duquense.
ESPN.com ranked Walker-Kimbrough as the No. 26 guard in her class and a top-100 overall recruit. On her AAU team, Mumbray said Walker-Kimbrough led with an even-keel confidence and stood out among teammates like Erin Mathias, a junior already committed to Duke.
“Basically, this is her team,” Mumbray said. "This is her AAU team, [and] it’s a very talented team.”
At Hopewell, Walker-Kimbrough averaged a double-double as a junior, with 25.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.9 steals, according to the Post-Gazette. But the year before, she struggled with her perimeter shooting.
She handled it in typical fashion. Mumbray said that she would shoot hundreds of shots every day. On average, Mumbray said, Walker-Kimbrough spent two-to-three hours each day working out.
Now, her jump shot is one of her strengths. Walker-Kimbrough said she plans to continue working on her jumper, as well as her strength and quickness, as she prepares for the next level.
“She doesn’t get too high, she doesn’t get too low,” Mumbray said. “But her work ethic is what separates her.”
That work ethic should give Maryland fans — and coaches — something to scream about.