TOPEKA – J’Shaliek Hendricks has been showing flashes during his junior season.
The 6-foot-1 point guard has been a key player for Topeka High this season and will be important for the Trojans’ success down the stretch.
“I just have to be a little bit more consistent and when I step out on the court I have to do what I have to do,” Hendricks said.
Although Hendricks is not a big-time scorer averaging 7.1 points through 12 games, he is very efficient shooting 48.4 percent from the field—third-highest amongst guards in Topeka—and he excels in finding his teammates for shots.
“I feel like it’s been pretty good, but I feel that I haven’t contributed enough,” Hendricks said. “I’ve just been passing and been more of a role player. I need to step up and have a bigger role.”
He is also a good defender using his length to his advantage. And then there’s the blocks. Hendricks has a knack for blocking shots particularly in one-on-one situations that’s rarely seen from guards.
“I just time it,” Hendricks said. “I just wait for them to get it out of their hands and then I go up for it. I know I’ve got the athleticism. I’ve been working out with my trainer a lot and he’s been getting me right.”
Hendricks’ top two scoring outputs this season came against Topeka High’s biggest rivals as he scored 15 points against Highland Park and Topeka West.
He showcased his all-around ability in the T.I.T. against Lawrence, one of the top teams in Class 6A, as the Trojans fell 57-55 in the closing seconds. Hendricks had six points, four rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and one steal while operating the Trojans’ offense.
“It was a little nerve-racking playing one of the best teams in the state and they have a great player in Justin Roberts, but I can’t let that get to me,” Hendricks said. “I’ve got to know that I’m great too.”
He helped lead Topeka High to a third place finish in the tournament with a 57-52 win over Olathe South totaling nine points, five assists, four rebounds, and one block.
Topeka High (6-6) will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since beating Emporia and Junction City (Dec. 18-Jan. 5) when they take the floor on Tuesday at Highland Park (7-5).
“We go up and then we come back down, but we’re starting to get our flow,” Hendricks said. “We’re starting to all come together as a team. We all want to be dogs. We all want to win, but we just keep falling short. But we’re getting there.”