Tucker (Stone Mountain, GA) guard/forward Manny Atkins , one of Virginia Tech’s four 2009 class commitments, made his official visit to Blacksburg last month. The 6-7, 200-pound prospect has not wavered from the verbal commitment he made in June, but the official visit certainly helped to further solidify his decision.
“I made an official visit when the football team played Georgia Tech,” recalled Atkins, who plans to make a return trip to Blacksburg at some point during basketball season. “Terrell [Bell] showed me around. He showed me places I hadn’t seen before. They had a good football atmosphere. I liked it a lot. The whole trip made me want to come to Virginia Tech even more.
“I’m feeling real good about my decision. It is still the same. I still want to go to Virginia Tech. I’m real strong with that.”
Atkins plans to sign a letter of intent with Virginia Tech on November 19th, which is the last day a recruit can sign in the upcoming early signing period. It is also his mother’s birthday, so there is no doubt that November 19th will be a special day for the entire Atkins family.
“It’ll mean a lot,” said Atkins, who is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this, to do something with basketball. Number one, I’m getting a full scholarship. That is a real big thing for me.
“I’ve thought I could get something for basketball since when I was 14 or 15. I started doing a lot of camps and playing AAU games. People started seeing me and I started getting letters around my ninth grade year. I kept improving and working.”
Atkins has grown about five inches since the beginning of his freshman year and could grow “at least one or two inches more,” he says. He has not only kept his athleticism over the years, but he has improved it over this past off-season.
“My athleticism got a lot better,” Atkins said. “The range on my shooting is getting real good. I’m starting to get to the point where I feel like I can’t miss. I’m trying to get stronger going to my left. It is going good, but I still can’t do as much as when I go to my right....
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