WATCH: The Summitt chats with Mystics guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 20: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 20: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough /

The Washington Mystics utilized their sixth overall, first round pick in the 2017 WNBA draft by selecting Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. The former Maryland guard got her top wish and remained close to home, moving a few miles from College Park, Maryland to Washington D.C.

Walker-Kimbrough did not begin her collegiate career with big-name buzz; she was not a McDonald’s All-American or highly decorated. However, upon the conclusion of her senior year, she earned proper recognition with ESPNW, WBCA and AP All-American honors as well as all-conference acknowledgements.

Walker-Kimbrough’s transition to the league came with the growing pains many rookies endure. However, she reassured The Summitt that she “trust[ed] the process,” which ultimately led her to producing substantial numbers as of late.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 12: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 12: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough /

With starting guard Tayler Hill’s torn ACL causing her to miss the rest of the season  and Elena Delle Donne out a few games with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in her thumb, Walker-Kimbrough was forced to step up in their absence.  “Coach  [Mike Thibault] told me to play like a Maryland senior and not a Maryland freshman,” she explained. This was her turning point.

Walker-Kimbrough has started the past six games for the Mystics.  In a three game stretch from August 12-18, she averaged 14 points per game. On August 16, she scored a career-high 16 points against Los Angeles.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 16: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 16: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough /

The Mystics rookie has proven the more responsibility she’s given, the more she thrives on court. With her minutes jumping to 26 after having played only two minutes in some games, Walker-Kimbrough adjusted and delivered.

Click the link below as Walker-Kimbrough discusses her mentality during the transitional period, teammates who have guided her through the season and Coach  Thibault’s words that improved her overall game.

The Washington Mystics will play the New York Liberty tonight at 7:30pm ET at Madison Square Garden.  The game will be available on Monumental Sports Network and MSG Network.