WAURIKA — When she arrives on campus at Cameron University and shows up for basketball practice, Brittany Elkins knows there will be questions. In fact, Waurika’s star player for the past four years realizes there are already questions floating around.

Can Elkins come out of a small-school program and compete at the college level?

After being the dominant player in Waurika’s program, how will she fit in with players of equal or higher ability and athleticism?

“I know playing in college will be a step up, but I’ve tried to move up my game every year and I’ll work hard (at Cameron),” Elkins said, when she officially accepted a scholarship offer from Cameron women’s coach Tom Webb.

The opportunity to take her game to another level developed after Elkins attended tryout sessions a CU, where Webb will begin a second year of trying to rebuild the Lady Aggies’ program.

Elkins had some credentials when she attended the tryout. Playing point guard and shooting guard, she was a four-year starter at WHS, where she led the Lady Eagles in scoring each seasons, cresting this winter at 21.7 points a game. With 1,576 career points, she’s believed to be the most prolific scorer of the Lady Eagles’ 5-on-5 era.

Elkins paced WHS in assists for three years and was the team’s top rebounder as a senior. She was also among the top scorers, rebounders, free throw shooters and assist distributors in Class A.

A member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Team this year, Elkins was honorable mention on The Oklahoman’s Class A all-state team for three seasons. She was a multi-time all-league pick in both the Southern 8 and Oilfield conferences, and was on The Banner’s All-Area first team for three years, including being the Offensive Player of the Year in 2009.

The numbers and the honors gave Elkins a strong resume. Still, as the recruiting process played out in the past two years, there were questions about Elkins’ ability to make a jump from an average Class A program to the college level.

Roger Jessie, Waurika’s head coach for Elkins’ final three seasons and an assistant when she was a freshman, feels the odds favor ex-Lady Eagle.

“The big adjustments for Brittany will be that, across the board, there’s more speed and athleticism at the college level than she’s seen in high school,” Jessie said. “The other big adjustment will be the daily school schedule and making herself take control of her daily life. In college, you don’t have mom and dad around to make sure you’re up or going to class or getting places on time.

“She’ll be learning more about herself than she ever knew before; finding out more about her limits and how to go beyond them. But I also feel Brittany can handle it.

“She’s always had the desire and drive to succeed, and I genuinely feel she’ll adjust and do well.”

Jessie also thought Elkins was arriving at Cameron at a good time. Webb’s first team went 6-21 overall and was in the basement of the Lone Star Conference North division at 1-13. However, the former Eastern Washington University assistant head coach didn’t take the CU job until April 2008 and inherited most of the players on the 2008-09 club.

Elkins will be a member of the first group of recruits exclusively brought in by Webb.

“Coach Webb’s proven that he can build a program,” Jessie noted. “One of the things that appealed to Brittany was being in on the foundation step of a program that’s going to get better.”

For the next two months, Elkins will be on her own in getting prepared for the move to the next level. She can’t report for pre-season practice at Cameron until August.

However, Webb has given his new recruit a summer regime that stresses physical conditioning and working on skills.

“They gave me a workout to do this summer; it’s everything — running, weight lifting, working on dribbling and shooting,” said Elkins, who will be among the Lady Aggies’ point guard candidates, although there’s also a possibility of playing shooting guard.

“Maybe some of the (Waurika) girls here will come join me, but I’ll have to do a lot of it alone. I’m used to that.

“I just want to be ready when I get to school in August.”

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