Since he was a child, Maize South junior point-guard Isaiah Atwater has been enamored with basketball.
“He grew up with a basketball in his hand,” said Brent Atwater, Isaiah’s father and former Texas Christian University basketball star. “I think it was meant to be because when he was a little kid, he would go to the gym with me every day when I trained and coached.”
Atwater, now a three-year varsity guard and one of the most experienced players on the team, was thrust into a leadership role for the Mavericks this season.
“This has been the biggest adjustment year for me and stepping into more of a leadership role because we had more seniors last year, so I have to be more vocal and keep them grounded when we get into big games,” said Atwater.
As the point guard, He is responsible for getting his team into its offense, making sure all of the players are aware of their roles on the floor, and, above all, creating scoring opportunities for both the players around him and himself.
Atwater has taken a giant leap forward in his development on the court as well, improving his scoring average from 9 points per game last year to 15 points and upping his assist totals to 5.2 per game.
Before the season, Atwater was named one of the top 25 players in the Kansas area by the Kansas State High School Activities Association and said he wants to prove he belongs on that list.
“I worked all summer and came into the season with something to prove,” said Atwater. “Reaching my goals of winning states and being named first-team all-league is what I want most out of this season.”
Atwater is a 5-foot-10, 160-pound guard with the ability to score at any given moment, anywhere on the court.
Last year, He was a key piece for the Mavericks, helping them earn a state playoff berth and recognized as honorable-mention All-Ark Valley honors.
“I don’t think he was satisfied with last season, so all summer, he worked on his body and his game, and I think he’s starting to see some of that payoff now,” said Brent. “So it’s a situation where I can just sit back as a parent and enjoy watching. It’s been one of the proudest things I’ve ever experienced.”
However, basketball isn’t the only thing Atwater is devoted to. He’s also a hard worker in the classroom. He carries a 3.6 G.P.A. and believes that his academic performance will aid him in life after basketball.
Atwater hopes to earn a scholarship playing basketball at the collegiate level and pursue a degree in sports management. His love for basketball is strong, and he wants to continue to be around the game to pass along his knowledge to the next generation.
Atwater and the Maize South Mavericks’ next game will be at home on Fri., Jan 7, at 7:30 p.m. against Derby High School.