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SPRINGFIELD — One of southwest Missouri’s most underrated players, 2018 guard Megan Whitaker has flown under the radar as a home school player.
A 5’8 guard, Whitaker is coming off a strong summer competing for WillPower and has drawn interest from several college programs this fall.
SWMOBasketball recently caught up with Megan and asked her about her senior season.
SWMO — How would you describe your game to people who haven’t seen you play?
Megan — I like to move fast and stay fully energized throughout the whole game, every game. I’m strong at driving to the basket and getting assists to my teammates to help them see success too. Being able to steal the ball, get rebounds, and block shots are some of my favorite parts of the game.
SWMO — Tell us about your summer experience and how you grew as a player.
Megan — I started playing travel ball for the first time the summer before my junior year. I played on Willpower Phenom with coaches Will Fontleroy and Chris Johnson. They’ve really pushed me to the next level. I learned how to compete tougher and harder against my opponents and I became more mentally tough. I also grew in encouraging my teammates, no mater the game situation. Plus, I’ve improved my three point percentage.
SWMO — Tell about the upcoming high school season, a little about your team and expectations.
Megan — I play for a homeschool team called RUSH. My team has a lot of games this season and we are very excited to be playing in public school tournaments along with some homeschool ones. I hope as the season continues, we become a stronger team on the floor by really learning how each of us likes to play and adjusting to that, and off the court, by growing stronger in our friendships.
SWMO — Who is the team or player that you look forward to playing this next season the most and why?
Megan — We are hoping to play against Conway again this season. Last year, at the Sparta tournament, we went into double overtime, but ended up falling short. We’d love to get the win this year!
SWMO — Who has been the biggest influence on your basketball career and tell us why?
Megan — My parents are the biggest influence on my basketball career because they have helped, encouraged, and provided me with the opportunity to play all these years. They have come to almost all of my games and always supported me no matter how the game ended.
SWMO — Who do you enjoy watching play basketball (professional, college, whoever) and why? Have you been able to take anything they do well and implement it in your own game?
Megan — Justin Jackson, who played for UNC in college and is now on the Sacramento Kings, is someone who I enjoy watching play because he was a homeschooler like me. I love his style of play and the fact that he didn’t let being homeschooled stop him from doing big things with the game he loves. He encourages me to compete even harder to be the best player I can be.
SWMO — What are some things in your game you are working on?
Megan — I am working on improving my speed to make my whole game faster and smoother. I also am trying to improve my shot percentage so I can be a more accurate and reliable shooter.