It had to be someone.
Of the 12 attendees invited to WNBA Draft 2016, one of them was going to be the final selection out of the bunch. It just so happens that it was Talia Walton, who had to wait until the third round to hear her name called. But the newest member of the Los Angeles Sparks is accustomed to waiting and understands more than most that the longer wait, the sweeter the reward.
The 6-2 forward played in just one game during her freshman year at the University of Washington. She honed her skill set, realized her potential to get buckets, and by her fifth and final season in the program she was a key part of the team’s first Final Four run in school history. Walton went from only seeing her name in the box score once her freshman year to being the team’s seconding leading scorer and rebounder as a senior and earning First Team All Pac-12 honors.
Once again she hopes that the wait will be worth it when she joins the Sparks this summer.
“This has been the story of my life,” she said minutes after being drafted. “From high school to college to now, I’ve always used it as motivation to become better and be the best version of me possible. I’m just blessed and lucky to have this moment.”
The Sparks are coming off their first 20-loss season in franchise history and will look to Walton’s solid all-around game as a potential new cog in the winning wheel. She joins an organization led by an established superstar in Candace Parker, who has cemented her place as one of the best forwards the game has ever seen.
“I cannot wait to meet Candace Parker. She’s actually the reason I wear No. 3, so I’ll gladly relinquish that to her,” Walton said. “I’m just excited to get out there and get to work.”
Walton plans on proving her doubters wrong from the jump and won’t waste any time getting back into the gym to get ready for this upcoming season; in fact, she was already ready on Draft night last Thursday.
“I get back to Seattle at 2:30 tomorrow, by 3:30 I’ll be in the gym and weight room. There’s no time off — it’s just fuel to fire. If there’s a fitness center in this gym, I’ll go there now.”
The wait is finally over for Talia Walton and she’s out to make sure that Sparks fans, and the rest of the WNBA, don’t have to waste any time getting to know her name.