Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU TECH BASKETBALL ; Atkins Offers Immediate Offense for Tech

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU TECH BASKETBALL ; Atkins Offers Immediate Offense for Tech

Article excerpt

Ryan Atkins knows plenty of ways to score on the basketball court.

The WVU Tech sophomore guard thrives in the mid-range game, is skilled at driving to the hoop, has made more free throws (137) than any other player in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and has also hit 15 3-pointers. Yet, when the KIAC's leading scorer was a player at Miami (Florida) Norland High School, putting the ball in the basket wasn't so easy.

"To tell the truth, in high school, I wasn't good at all, he said.

Atkins took a circuitous route both to Montgomery and to becoming a skilled scorer, but the Golden Bears have valued his arrival. He'll have to wait a little longer than originally expected, though, to showcase that talent.

Tech's home game versus Carlow, scheduled for today, has been postponed because of the winter storm. The new date has yet to be announced. Tech's next scheduled game is at 8 p.m, Tuesday versus Rio Grande at the Baisi Athletic Center.

If Atkins struggled at scoring in high school, Tech coach Bob Williams got no inkling of that when he faced the guard last season when Atkins played his lone semester at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. Williams watched Atkins torch his Golden Bears for 41 points. Barber-Scotia didn't offer athletic scholarships, so in Atkins' search for one, he came to WVU Tech.

That short stop in North Carolina was just one step in Atkins' long journey to find a basketball home. He said he never had the confidence to be a dependable scorer at Norland. He wanted to play college basketball, and attempted to walk on to Florida A&M University. That didn't work out, and Atkins' started struggling in school after that.

He attended tryouts and exposure camps to try and latch on to another school, but no one was interested. He also needed to get over his apprehension of shooting, something he finally was able to do playing pickup games at a gym in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

"Playing every day against good competition, if you can score there, you can score anywhere, he said. …

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