Shanquel Wheaton is out to make a statement – she belongs.

The Waxahachie summer basketball league is only a week old and Wheaton is already well on her way to being the most dominant player in the nine-team field. She has proven to be a key scorer and defender for the Lady Indians.

Officially, coach Lesli Priebe and her staff can’t coach the girls as they play. But they can watch and Wheaton is committed to putting on a show.

“I wanted to show varsity coaches that I’m determined to be on varsity. That’s where I want to be and to show JV coaches that JV isn’t where I will thrive. Varsity is where I belong,” Wheaton said.

This past season, Wheaton started the season on varsity before being sent down to the junior varsity program. While in the sub-varsity system, she excelled on the floor leading the team in scoring and rebounding with ease.

Her efforts were so good that she was called back up to the varsity program near the end of the season. When she made the move, Wheaton’s scoring totals never quite got to where she was on JV but she did make a substantial impact.

That’s what makes this summer all the more important.

With a handful of seniors moving on, there is an opportunity for Wheaton to not only solidify her spot on varsity but earn a starting role in the process. Over the first two summer games, she’s proven she can do just that.

In the team’s opener on Monday against Kennedale, Wheaton scored a game-high 16 including 12 in the second half that keyed a rally. Ultimately the rally fell short but the effort was well-noted. She followed that performance by scoring 11 points against Red Oak on Wednesday. For the summer league, Wheaton and teammate Jamayia Perez are the only two Lady Indians to clear double-figures.

Waxahachie has combined for 104 points in two games with Wheaton owning just over a fourth of them in terms of percentages.

“I’m happy with my success I just have to be patient and my points will come to me,” Wheaton said.

Though she may be working her way into varsity contention, Wheaton has wasted no time getting comfortable with her teammates. In just two games, the Lady Indian guards have shown they are extremely comfortable with feeding Wheaton passes in the post for inside buckets.

The most common play they’ve worked on has been where Wheaton throws the ball in off the baseline and then immediately posts up for a pass down low. That play worked so well against Red Oak she scored the majority of her points on the inside shot or at the foul line as a result of being hit attempting the shot.

While the connection is solid, it’s still a work in progress, which is what makes the summer so important. Wheaton is working hard to put herself in better position, which will put the Lady Indians in better position. So far, so good.

“I feel our chemistry is growing every day. In practice we push each other while building chemistry. It’s great. I love my team,” Wheaton said. “Look out for us in the season coming up. We’re going to do great things and go great places.”

Post players have a history of success in Priebe’s system on the varsity level as Waxahachie received all-state honors at post in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 UIL basketball seasons.

Wheaton hopes her strong summer play will continue into fall where she has a chance to become the next all-state post player for the Lady Indians.

Contact Alex at alex.riley@wninews.com or at 469-517-1456.