Lena Walker graduated from Montgomery High School as a talented multi-sport athlete, playing both basketball and softball. She participated for three years on the varsity basketball team, and each of those years, she was named to the All-League Team and selected as the school’s Most Valuable player. In softball, she had the same level of success –three years on the varsity team, named to the All-League Team and the school’s Most Valuable Player. As a senior she received the Golden Glove award.
In 1979, Lena came to Southwestern College and played on the Women’s Basketball Team coached by June Scopinich. A fierce competitor, Lena was a started both years and one of the team’s statistical leaders: 51% field goal shooting percentage; 17.2 points per game (total 608 points and a career high of 37 points); and 89 steals each year. Lena was named to the Second Team All-Mission Conference her first year and First Team All-Mission Conference as a sophomore. Identified as one of the best power forwards in the State of California, she and the team went on to become Mission Conference Champions and participated in both regional and state tournaments.
In 1981, Lena accepted a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at Utah State University. During her two years there, she was selected to the NCAA Regional Women’s Basketball Team and honored by her teammates as Best Defensive Player on the team. After finishing her basketball career at the university, Lena decided to try for the softball team. As a walk-on, Lena became the starting center fielder, earning All-American Honorable Mention in softball. In 1984, she played in the NCAA Softball World Series. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in physical education.
Lena has always wanted to help children succeed. While in college, she volunteered and worked with the Special Olympics. Alter in her career, she became a March of Dimes volunteer. She still works with the organization today.
In 1995, she returned to San Diego and worked for the Chula Vista City School District as a physical education teacher. During that time, she coached at Montgomery High School –two tears as the junior varsity coach and two years as assistant varsity coach. From 1988 to 1990, Lena became the assistant basketball coach at Southwestern College, under Head Coach Lori Morris.
In 1990, Lena played for the San Diego Astros Softball team, who won the American Softball Association’s National Championship in Michigan that year. Still driven, talented, and still extremely competitive, she was chosen as an All-American center fielder.
She moved to Northern California in 1994 and was hired by Federal Express, where she still works today.
Lena’s best memory is of her last season at Southwestern and the second basketball game against San Diego City College. Unusually, SWC had lost the first game against them at home. “As I walked into their gym, the City team was playing music, laughing and not taking us seriously. We ended up beating them by 22 points. I scored a team high of 37 points. I will never forget the looks on City’s players’ faces after we won. That win set the tone for the rest of the season. We ended up going to the playoffs.”
Congratulations Lena Walker for your unparalleled achievements as a student athlete and coach. It is a distinct honor to induct you into Southwester College Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 2014.