Right in the middle of Beulah’s coaching transition several years ago, Erin Walcker experienced a transition of her own.
“Back when I was in eighth grade and freshman year, I was only like 5’5″,” the senior said.
She grew five inches her sophomore year to suddenly go from being a point guard to more of a post player. To this day, being a forward is a little strange to her.
“I still have issues figuring out which moves to use when and where because I haven’t always played that position, but I’m learning as I go along,” Walcker said.
She’s embraced her versatility, and the Miners are more than happy letting her play positionless basketball.
“I like to be out at the guard but if we need me to go in if someone shorter is playing on me, then I’ll be willing to step in,” Walcker said.
“She’s comfortable on the outside but she does a really good job on the inside too, because she’s so tall,” senior teammate Faith Schnabel said. “There’s not really a lot of people who can match up to her.”
The stats prove she’s been able to make the most of being a tall ball handler. She leads the team with 18 points and 9.5 rebounds and three blocks a game.
“She definitely helps us out providing that mismatch,” head coach Kasey Koepplin said. “This year she’s been doing a great job of finding her teammates when they’re filling for her, or when she’s getting four or five girls collapsing on her in the paint.”
Besides physically growing into a more versatile player, Walcker says she’s come a long way as a leader, too.
“Back when I was younger, I didn’t really run the offense as much as I do now,” Walcker said. “A lot of girls look up to me and look at me to direct things, so that’s my job. I really have to make sure I’m leading my team.”
As far as her team is concerned, she’s doing a great job.
“She’s the all-around student-athlete,” Koepplin said. “She’s the kid that every coach hopes they get one of.”
After graduation, Walcker is set to play basketball at Mayville State.