Record Newspapers Athlete of the Week: Mikayla Walls, Plano, basketball, senior

Plano's Mikayla Walls

Name: Mikayla Walls

School: Plano, senior

Sport: Basketball

Why she was selected: Walls scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a win over Yorkville Christian, and had 30 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Somonauk.

Walls was voted by readers as the Record Newspapers Athlete of the Week in an online vote. Here is her interview with Sports Editor Joshua Welge.

Welge: How do you feel about the start to the season?

Walls: I feel like we’ve worked hard and especially over the summer. This is well deserved considering our record from last year. Me and the girls have just been working our butts off trying to come back from that.

Welge: Yes, you’ve already matched your win total from all of last season. What’s been the difference so far?

Walls: I attribute that to our new head coach [Tristan] Spivey. He has made sure that we realize the team that we can be. He has pushed us to work as hard as possible.

Welge: That 30-point game: What do you remember about it? Was that a career high?

Walls: Yes, it was a career high. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates feeding me the ball and making sure I get up there. I was bigger than the girls on the other team. It was easier to get in the post and get the ball up there. I have had a game where I was disappointed in myself and I wanted to come back from that. I worked really hard on the court.

Welge: What aspects of your game do you believe you’ve made the most growth in from last season?

Walls: Being more confident with the ball. I was more hesitant in putting the ball up last year, just scared a little. This year, even in the summer, I’ve been practicing on my confidence, knowing if I do this, then that can happen. It’s all about confidence?

Welge: How did you get started playing basketball?

Walls: I remember before I started playing, I used to hate basketball. I never liked it, it was not my thing. One year, my dad introduced it to me. He handed me a ball, we went to the park and we played for hours. He was the one that inspired me to play basketball in the first place. He is part of the reason why I’m so good in the paint. He’s really worked with me.