PRO COUGS TRACKER: Leger-Walker sisters together again, Husky makes unreal putt

PRO COUGS TRACKER: June 13, 2023



WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker drives toward the basket during the second half of an NCAA collegiate basketball game against UW, Friday, Jan. 28, in Beasley Coliseum.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

The Leger-Walker sisters are back to sharing a court as part of New Zealand’s national team the Sky Sport Tall Ferns, but a pro Husky stole the show this week at the Canadian Open.

First the Husky in the room. Nick Taylor, the former Washington Husky golfer (2007–10) and Abbotsford, British Columbia native is the first Canadian in nearly 70 years to win the Canadian Open.

Taylor won his third PGA Tour event after a college career in which he won the Ben Hogan Award, reserved for the best college men’s golfer in the nation, his senior year at UW (2010).

Taylor nearly saw his Canadian Open cut short when he hit a 3-over-par 75, but rounds of 67, 63 and 66 were good for a 17-under 271 total. This forced a playoff at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto.

He played four playoff holes and, surrounded by a Canadian crowd, saw only a sliver of the national reaction to his historic victory after he drained the incredible putt.

I know, how could I possibly celebrate a Husky in a column called “Pro Cougs Tracker.”

Call it “best in the northwest bias,” “Back the Pac” or whatever, I have 72 feet worth of answers for you. Just watch this incredible putt and celebration.

Isn’t that awesome?!? I rest my case.

Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker

WSU guard Krystal Leger-Walker points at a teammate during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona State in Beasley Coliseum, Feb. 18.

Sisters Charlisse Leger-Walker and Krystal Leger-Walker are playing for the Sky Sport Tall Ferns, who just wrapped their Europe Tour of friendlys.

Charlisse will return to WSU for her senior year this fall while Krystal played her last game as a Coug in March 2022.

The Leger-Walker sisters combined for 17 points, but the Tall Ferns lost to No. 11 world-ranked Turkey, 89-64 in their final friendly.

They opened their friendlys by losing three times to World-ranked No. 8 Serbia, however, they beat Poland 73-62 in a game in which Charlisse scored 22 points and Krystal added six.

This is the first year Charlisse will experience a proper lead-up to Olympic qualifying tournaments.

“In the past, we have always had the burden of not getting any or a lot of time before having to go and play against the top 10 countries in the world,” Charlisse said in a 1news article.

“Trying to compete for spots to qualify, it’s really, really hard when you only have three or four days.”

After a Europe tour and two mini-camps, the Tall Ferns will attempt to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2008 at the Asia Cup this summer.

CJ Allen

Junior hurdler CJ Allen jumps during his event at the Cougar Indoor on Feb. 6, 2015.

CJ Allen, the former Coug sprinter from Belfair, who in three seasons with WSU track and field (2013–16), won two Pac-12 Championships in the 400-meter hurdles, won his first career Diamond League title in Paris.

The pro Coug is angling to compete in the World Championships this year and seeks to make the 2024 U.S. Olympic team. If he keeps running and jumping like he has since college, that goal is not far off.

He already owns an American record. Allen decided to participate in the Larry Wieczorek Invitational track and field meet held in Iowa City, Iowa in January.

It was his first event of the year and he entered the event with virtually no preparation as he focused on graduate school.

Nonetheless, Allen ran an indoor U.S.-record 400-meter hurdle in 48.88 seconds, falling just short of the world-record 48.78 set by Félix Sánchez of the Dominican Republic in 2012, according to the Kitsap Sun.

Around Coug Nation

Josh Hawkinson, former WSU basketball player and Shoreline resident attended the Mariners game, Monday. Hawkinson became a Japanese citizen this year and plays for the Shinshu Brave Warriors in Japan’s B1 League.

He played at WSU from 2013–16 and ranks in the top 10 in several school records, including double-doubles (third – 40), rebounds (eighth – 700) and rebounds average (ninth – 7.955).

He swapped jerseys with Ichiro prior to Monday’s M’s game.

Mandatory minicamp looked like a fun time for pro Coug Daiyan Henley, who is back in his hometown of Los Angeles playing for the LA Chargers. By the looks of a recent Instagram post, the NFL rookie got to attend a screening of “Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Daiyan Henley (@daiyanh11)

The Indiana Pacers hosted aspiring pro Coug Mouhamed Gueye prior to the June 22 NBA Draft.

Gueye started playing organized basketball when he was 17 and caught the attention of head coach Kyle Smith and his staff. This led to an excellent college career with back-to-back All-Pac-12 Honors in the last two years. In a matter of three years since he started playing organized basketball, Gueye could be in the NBA.

“They’re getting a kid who just started basketball who is pretty good and who will be even scarier going forward,” Gueye said in an interview with the Pacers.

For more Pro Cougs news and highlights, keep reading the Daily Evergreen’s Pro Cougs Tracker!

Thank you for reading and Go Cougs!