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Hopewell's Walker-Kimbrough named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athlete of the year

| Saturday, June 30, 2012, 10:38 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Hopewell three-sport athlete Shatori Walker-Kimbrough is this year's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review female athlete of the year. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough - 2012 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Girls Athlete of the Year Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

SHATORI WALKER-KIMBROUGH

Hopewell · junior · volleyball-basketball-track & field

There's no such thing as sitting still for Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.

Sure, school's out for the summer. But the soon-to-be senior at Hopewell was still with her girls basketball teammates at Notre Dame last week for a camp. She even found enough time to squeeze in a visit to Purdue.

The three-sport standout's schedule isn't lightening anytime soon, either, with a busy month on the horizon for her Western PA Bruins AAU team.

Even if she won't grant herself a break, she's earned a rest after a golden school year.

In volleyball, where the middle hitter has garnered interest from Penn State and Dayton, she helped the Vikings to a WPIAL Class AA title and an appearance in the PIAA quarterfinals.

Transitioning into basketball season, the 6-foot guard grabbed another gold medal by pacing Hopewell to the WPIAL Class AAA championship. For the season, she averaged a class-best 25.6 points per game, and her growing list of college offers includes Pitt, Maryland, Cincinnati, Villanova, Purdue and Xavier.

The nimble star stood out in the spring, as well, taking second in the Class AAA triple jump at the WPIAL track and field championships in May, before finishing in fourth in the event at the PIAA meet.

It's quite an act to follow for next season, but for this year's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Girls Athlete of the Year, there are no signs of slowing down in sight.

How is recruiting going?

“It gets pretty overwhelming at times, I'll say that. I don't try to think about it too much. Right now, I'm just working out, because July is the big month for AAU.”

What are you looking for in a college?

“One trait is honesty. You can tell when coaches are being honest. A lot of coaches tell you everything you want to hear. Some coaches really break down your game, and you can tell they really want to help you. Also, I'm looking for a home away from home. I want to be comfortable.”

What was your proudest achievement of the past school year?

“Probably our championship in basketball. Volleyball, too, was great, but I feel like basketball was a little bigger. I knew I wanted to get that, and to finally get it, it meant so much.”

What are the goals you've set for the upcoming season?

“Hopefully repeat in each sport and to take it to the next level in state.”

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

“By far, it'd be my mother (Andrea Kimbrough). She does so many things people couldn't imagine. I don't have my license, and she'll pick me up from practice and wait when I stay late. She does the little things that mean so much.”

Are there other sports you played growing up that you've moved away from?

“I was a pretty good softball player when I was younger. My mom always put me in the wrong age group, and I played up. When I finally got in my right age group, I played really well. I was a first baseman.”

Is there any other sport you would like to try?

“I always wanted to play soccer, but mom told me I was too tall, so she didn't sign me up.”

Any vacation plans over the summer?

“I'll probably have August off, but most of July I'll be traveling with my AAU team. I enjoy that, so I picture it as a vacation.”

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