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Brooke Walling’s journey to 1,000 points

Behind the scenes of WWU’s All-GNAC talent

Forward Brooke Walling during 2023 Media Day on Sept. 15, 2023, in Bellingham, Wash. Walling leads her team in points (16.9), field goal percentage (.630), rebounds (9.4) and blocks (2.1). // Photo courtesy of WWU Athletics

Western Washington University forward Brooke Walling scored her 1,000 career point as a Viking on Jan. 27 against the Montana State University Billings.

Walling has garnered several accolades including Preseason All-GNAC, NCAA II West Regional All-Tournament MVP and more. Walling is also leading her team in points scored with 16.9 per game. 

Despite all of this, basketball wasn’t always Walling’s favorite sport.

“I played soccer for a few years before I played basketball,” Walling said. “I liked soccer a lot more than I did basketball for a while.” 

Things started to change for Walling in middle school, as she made the transition from soccer to basketball.

“It just came a little more naturally to me, I ended up putting more time into basketball,” Walling said.

Walling attended Prairie High School where she won 3A State Player of the Year and the state title in 2019. Walling mentioned her time at Prairie as a key factor in her basketball journey.

“My coaches were really good and they were tough on me,” Walling said. “I felt like being able to play for them and be pushed by them set me up to be able to play for anybody.” 

The 6-foot-3 forward went from Prairie to Fresno State in 2019. However, Walling’s time at Fresno left her doubting her abilities.

“My first couple years of college, my confidence went down a lot, it was a new situation and the environment just wasn’t one that I felt like I could be successful in,” Walling said. “I just wasn’t finding the joy in it anymore but I’m glad I stuck with it.” 

When Walling transferred from Fresno to Western in 2021, she knew it was only a matter of time until she regained her confidence.

“The moment I got here, I knew Carmen [Dolfo] had the utmost confidence in me, so it was just a matter of me finding it within myself,” Walling said.

brooke walling 2

Brooke Walling attempts a layup against the Montana State University Billings on Jan. 27, 2024, at Sam Carver Gymnasium, in Bellingham, Wash. Walling became the 29th player in program history to surpass 1,000 points as a Viking. // Photo by Michael Potash, courtesy of WWU Athletics

Since joining Western in 2021, Walling has continued to improve every facet of her game, like becoming an ambidextrous scorer.

“She has really improved her right hand, she can go both ways inside,” Assistant Coach Stacey Turrell said via email. “She is hard to guard when you don’t know what she is going to do.” 

“I have more confidence going to my right and my left,” Walling said. 

Developing the ability to be a consistent three-point shooter has been another key goal for Walling. After shooting only .231 from three in 2021-2022, she shot .325 in 2022-2023 and .282 in 2023-2024. 

“I felt like it was pretty good for me in high school, but then it kinda went away from me for a bit,” Walling said. Walling said her improvement in becoming a consistent three-point shooter, has made defenses always have to account for her anywhere above the three-point line. 

Walling’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, but her ability to be a good teammate makes her stand out.

“She makes everyone else around her better, she pushes all of her teammates to be better and that is such a huge thing that isn’t always seen,” said Western Guard Stephanie Peterson. “She cares about everyone so deeply on and off the court, she always has your back regardless – she’ll be there for you.” 

Peterson said when she joined Western in 2022, her work ethic wasn’t the best. Walling helped her improve that.

“Living with Brooke, playing with Brooke, it’s pushed me to always work my hardest,” Peterson said. “Her work ethic is contagious, she never stops, she always goes as hard as she can.”

Despite the attention, Walling’s mentality never changes.

“I’m [thinking] next game, next play. It’s nice to enjoy those moments but not get too caught up in it,” Walling said. “Those awards will come and go, my biggest accomplishments is what we do as a team and how successful we are as a team.”

The Vikings have only lost four games on the season, with a record of 19-4 (2nd in GNAC).  

“I’m just a competitor, I hate to lose. That’s what drives me every day – even outside of basketball, just to be the best I can be,” Walling said. 

Walling scored 18 points and the Vikings defeated MSUB 76-68 in front of the home crowd. 

“To be able to do it at Western is even more important to me because I love being here, I love this team, I love this program,” Walling said. “If you would’ve asked me three or four years ago, I don’t know If I could have told you that I would’ve scored 1,000 points in college.”

Aiden Luhr

Aiden Luhr is a junior at Western and a sports reporter for The Front. He is a journalism news/editorial major and enjoys anything sports related. You can reach him at

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