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St. Joe’s Jaden Walker is ‘excited to see how far’ her Sweet 16-bound brother Jarace goes with No. 1 Houston

Philadelphia Inquirer 3/23/2023 Aaron Tully, The Philadelphia Inquirer

A 69-61 loss to Seton Hall in the women’s NIT last Thursday saw St. Joseph’s senior Jaden Walker close out her fourth season with the Hawks.

Her brother, on the other hand, is hoping his season lasts another two weeks.

Jarace Walker is a freshman forward for the top-seeded Houston Cougars. He’s also Jaden’s younger brother.

In his first season with the Cougars, Walker, a five-star prospect according to ESPN started 33 of 34 games and was second on the team in both points per game (11.6 ppg) and rebounds per game (6.6).

Walker scored 16 points in his NCAA Tournament debut in Houston’s first-round win over Northern Kentucky. He shot 6-for-8 from the field. Next, Houston plays No. 5 seed Miami and its pair of Philly-based guards Isaiah Wong and Wooga Poplar on Friday (7:15 p.m., CBS).

According to Walker, seeing her brother on this big of a stage is surreal, saying, “I’m excited to see how far he goes.”

Much of Jarace’s success and skills, ones that led him to be the number 10 player in the country according to ESPN100, could be attributed to the backyard games between the two growing up.

Wooga Poplar is the latest in a recent run of Philadelphia-area players shining at Miami

Walker said she and her brother used to sharpen each other’s skills on the basketball hoop in their driveway at home in New Freedom, Pa., along the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. “We used to really go at it,” Walker said. “It was very competitive, very fun ... growing up we definitely always pushed each other to be better.

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