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Atkins Makes Immediate Impact

Will Gallegos (’27)
J.J. Atkins (’25) practices a jump shot during a pre-game warmup.

J.J. Atkins transferred to RMHS from New Jersey at the start of his junior year and has already made a massive impact on the basketball program, being named captain for his senior year.

Transitioning from the city of Neptune, New Jersey to Reading is daunting, however, J.J. found it seamless and credits a smooth transition to the Rockets basketball team. J.J. joined a unique environment where he was able to embrace his passion with similarly goal-oriented teammates. He described how good basketball is the same regardless of location and how if you work hard, you will fit in. This winning mindset, paired with the closely-knit Rockets, was a recipe for success, both on and off the court. J.J. described how his new teammates are like brothers to him and how the Rockets are one big family.  

Beyond the relationships that J.J. built with his teammates, he also found lots of success on the court. In his first season playing under the Rockets jersey, he earned himself a starting position while averaging 11 points, 4 assists, and an impressive 42 steals for the season. He is described by teammates as an athletic, high-energy player who consistently makes hustle plays. Senior captain Hayes Littlefield stated, “He stands out on the court with his defense and his willingness to share the ball with his teammates.” J.J. believes that his role as starting point guard was not given but achieved through hard work.

Along with a determined mindset, he also attributes a lot of his success to Coach Morrissey, who gave him pointers and provided help while still prioritizing the team’s goals. Mr. Morrissey stated, “He was so enjoyable to coach. J.J. hasn’t scratched how good he could be, and I think that’s the pleasure of coaching him.” Also, senior captains Shea Donahue and Littlefield led by example and made sure J.J. was always headed in the right direction. J.J. appreciated how Donahue and Littlefield led through actions, and being elected captain next year along with junior’s Jake Palm and Jack Murphy, he hopes they can fill their shoes. Littlefield, on the election of captainship for J.J., stated, “He is a quiet kid, but he is a natural leader. His leadership on and off the court as well as his impact on the court make him a perfect candidate for a captain.”

J.J. Atkins (’25) during a break in the action at one of this winter’s games.

J.J. is going to lead the team next year with positive energy. His goal is to get 15 wins in the regular season and make it deep into the playoffs, if not win the state championship. Overall, he wants to have a remarkable season that he and the team will remember forever. Personally, J.J. wants to pursue his dream of playing basketball in college and become a better player and person.

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    QuasiaMar 29, 2024 at 10:28 am

    Yeaaaa Jayyy !!