SHS basketball standout Jonia Walker signs with NSU

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
05/28/2019 10:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Jonia Walker, all-state basketball player for Sequoyah High School, signs her letter of intent during a short ceremony on the SHS campus in Tahlequah. Seated next to Jonia was her mother, Sonya Walker. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – She committed in March, but Jonia Walker made it official on May 8.

The 6-foot post player for the Sequoyah High School girls’ basketball team signed her letter of intent with Northeastern State University, where she will play for coach Fala Bullock.

Shortly before signing, Walker teared up while speaking to the small assembly gathered on the SHS campus at The Place Where They Play.

“I want to thank my family for always being there, and my teammates,” Walker said.

After signing, Walker said she was excited to face the challenges of college academics and athletics.

“I am definitely going to miss the family feel of Sequoyah,” she said. “But I feel like it will carry on to NSU because I’ve already made friends and am very close to all of my teammates and coaches. We all just click, and that feels really good.”

SHS coach Larry Callison, who has concluded his tenure at the helm of the girls’ basketball team, said he appreciated coaching Walker.

“I remember when she decided to come here her freshman year,” Callison said. “We were really excited. She would be that threat inside, and a couple of years ago she was among the leaders in blocked shots. We will miss that stability and that type of player inside. She has accomplished so much here. She has a great personality and she is a great kid to be around. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to coach her the last four years. I hope she will carry this to the next level.”

During her senior campaign, Walker averaged 10 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.3 steals and an assist per game to help the Lady Indians to a 23-5 record and the Class 3A state semifinals.
During the state tournament, she averaged 9.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and an assist per game to make the all-tournament team.

Walker was named the 3A all-state tournament MVP in 2018 when the Lady Indians won a second consecutive state championship. She nearly averaged a double-double during the three games with 15 points and just under 10 rebounds.

Walker was also a three-time all-state selection for basketball in 2019. She was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Small East squad, the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association Middle East team and the Oklahoma Native All-State Association team.

“Jonia comes from Tahlequah Sequoyah – rich in basketball tradition,” Bullock said. “She’s been coached by an Oklahoma high school coaching legend in Larry Callison, and won two state championships. Her size inside and physical nature will help bring a physicality to our post play. Jonia has great touch around the basket and can extend her shot out to 15 feet. It’s also great to be able to sign another local product who will represent Tahlequah and the Cherokee Nation.”

During the 2018-19 season, Bullock’s second with NSU, the RiverHawks went 6-22 and 3-16 in conference play in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
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