ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ebony Walker’s debut in cherry and silver has been postponed.
The NCAA informed University of New Mexico women’s basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez on Thursday that an eligibility waiver filed on Walker’s behalf had been denied. Had it been approved, the waiver would have allowed Walker to play for the Lobos this season.
Instead, the 6-foot-3 junior post will have to wait until 2013-14. Walker, a Sandia High School graduate, transferred to UNM from Texas Tech during the summer.
“It’s too bad for this year,” Sanchez said, “but it’s still a positive that we’ll have Ebony for the future. She’s shown me she can be one of the better players in the (Mountain West) conference.”
NCAA rules require transfer players to sit out for a year after transferring from one Division I program to another. Lobo sophomore guard Antiesha Brown left Texas Tech at midsemester last season and will be eligible to play at this year’s break.
Walker had hoped to avoid the waiting period because she said Texas Tech’s coaching staff effectively told her she was no longer wanted in the program. Walker played sparingly in her two years with the Red Raiders.
However, after getting statements from both Walker and Texas Tech, the NCAA opted not to let her play this season. She can continue to practice with the Lobos.
“I obviously don’t know all the details,” Sanchez said, “but it was worth taking a chance. I know Ebony’s disappointed, but she had a good practice today and I know she’ll help our team every way she can this year.”
— This article appeared on page C8 of the Albuquerque Journal