TAMA - Megan Wanatee will be extending her basketball career past South Tama County High School and she'll be doing it at a college that needs someone with her skill set.
Grand View University, an NAIA Division II school in Des Moines, was looking for guards to complement its array of post players. After watching Wanatee play point guard for the Trojans during the winter, they signed her to a letter of intent last week.
"We needed point guards," Grand View head coach Garey Smith said. "We saw her play in our summer league last year and she did a lot of good things in that. So we contacted coach and said we'd like to come around.
PHOTO BY JIMMY GILLISPIE/TAMA NEWS-HERALD
South Tama County senior Megan Wanatee, seated center, signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Grand View University in Des Moines. Seated beside Wanatee are her parents, Heather and Joe Wanatee, along with Grand View head coach Garey Smith, far left, and STC head coach Marsha Keahna, far right.
"We've been very blessed to have lots of talented post players. We're loaded with them. We need people that can get the ball to them and I think she can do that."
Wanatee officially signed her collegiate letter on March 27 at STC High School. She verbally committed to Grand View late in the basketball season.
"I've been waiting for this day," Wanatee said. "As a little girl, I wanted to play in the WNBA. Now I get to play in college and that's closer to the next level."
"During the summer, I went and played at their camp," she said. "I kept hearing more from him and eventually I went there for a college visit. Then I decided I wanted to go there."
Her parents, Joe and Heather Wanatee, along with STC head coach Marsha Keahna also were at the signing. Wanatee's parents and high school coach were excited to see her play close to home.
"I am very happy for Megan signing with Grand View," Keahna said. "I think it will be a very good fit for her. Megan is a good passer and sees the floor well and I think these guard qualities will help her transition into Grand View's program.
"I think Megan still has some growing to do on the basketball court, but with the right guidance from her Grand View coaches, Megan will be a leader both on and off the court," Keahna added. "I plan on trying to go to Grand View to watch Megan play as much as possible. It will be nice to see her expand her talents and watch her improve. Megan is a great young lady and I think this is a wonderful next step for her."
Wanatee will be joining a team that lost three of its five starters after finishing the 2013 season 22-7 in the second round of the NAIA tournament. The Vikings return three post players who are 6 feet, 2 inches or taller. Smith said the Vikings should have a strong inside game next year.
"They have to be able to shoot and break people down off of the bounce," Smith said of guards on his team. "Because of our size, we've always had guards who are standing shooters, but the game's gone beyond that. Now, especially with that shot clock, when the bench starts counting six, five, four, someone has to put the ball on the floor and take it to the rack. She can do that. When she gets inside, she can do some good things with the basketball. That will all fit into our operation."
As a senior, Wanatee averaged 9.3 points and 4.3 assists per game for South Tama. She was one of four seniors in the starting lineup for the 11-11 Trojans, finishing as the third-leading scorer on the team.