Leger-Walker, Manzardo Finalists for Seattle Sports Star Awards
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State women's basketball guard Charlisse Leger-Walker and baseball first baseman Kyle Manzardo have both been named finalists for the Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards.
The 86th Annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards will be held during a virtual presentation Feb. 27 and will air live on KING-TV in Seattle. Fans can vote for Leger-Walker and Manzardo, along with other nominees at sportsstaroftheyear.org/vote.
"This is well-deserved for both Charlisse and Kyle to be recognized as finalists for the Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards," said WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun. "They represent two of the very best in their respective sports and are critical contributors in the national emergence of WSU women's basketball and baseball."
Manzardo had a breakout sophomore campaign in a shortened 2020 season, earning All-America Third Team honors from Collegiate Baseball. Manzardo became the Cougars first All-American since 2006 after hitting .435 with seven doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI. The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho native led the Pac-12 Conference with 27 hits while his seven doubles tied for the league lead. Manzardo recorded a hit in all 16 games played last season and has hit safely in 17 straight games dating back to 2019.
In addition to the All-America honors, Manzardo earned the Pac-12's final Player of the Week honor in 2020 and was also rated the league's second-best breakout hitter by D1Baseball.com. Prior to the 2021 season, Manzardo was named to the Preseason All-America Third Team by Collegiate Baseball, WSU's first preseason All-American since 2016.
In her first season with the Washington State women's basketball team, Leger-Walker has helped the Cougars earn their first top-25 ranking in the Associated Press poll in school history. The first-year guard has been named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week a WSU-record five times this season, while she was named the National Basketball Writers Association (NBWA) Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Week on Jan. 11. The freshman has also demonstrated how clutch she is this season, as Leger-Walker has made the game-winning basket in WSU's 71-69 overtime win over Arizona on Jan. 10, 2021, then again in the Cougs' 77-75 double-overtime win at Oregon State on Jan. 24, 2021.
Leger-Walker currently leads the Pac-12 Conference in points scored at 251, while her 17.9 points per game average is third-best in the league. The guard also leads the Pac-12 in steals (38) and steals per game (2.71). Leger-Walker opened her Washington State career with a 12-game double-digit scoring streak, which set a freshman record for the most consecutive games with 10-or-more points to begin a WSU career. Her seven games with 20-or-more points are the second-most collected by a WSU freshman in program history, only two-off from Borislava Hristova's program freshman record.