Upstate Underclassman Guard Has D-1 Looks

Reporter Mike Sullivan provides a free look at the individual game of upstate underclassman J.J. Wilkins, who had a fine season for head coach Sal Costantino's Niagara Falls High School basketball team ...

J.J. Wilkins, a 5-foot-9, 150-pound guard prospect from Niagara Falls High School in Niagara Falls, New York, had a wonderful season for new head coach Sal Costantino's boy's basketball tam.

While the season ended for Niagara Falls High School with a sectional title loss to Jamestown, a team they had upended in the regular season, J.J. was an impact player on both sides of the ball.

J.J. scored nearly 11 points a game and was one of the better defenders, using his speed and quick hands to cause turnovers.


J.J. has had some fine games on both ends of the court, producing 16 points and compiling seven steals to lead Niagara Falls High School past Wheatfield, 70-38.

In a victory over Kenmore East High School, 89-62, Wilkins scored 13 points and handed out six assists. He was equally efficient defensively too, doing a great job in getting into the passing lanes.

In addition, J.J. produced 15 points to help NFHS upend Grand Island High School, 94-38. Wilkins was also a terror on defense, being credited with seven steals and a couple of deflections.

Wilkins' defensive skill level was a big reason why Niagara Falls High School knocked off Jamestown on opening night. "He locked down his opponent and helped us win," said Costantino.

Wilkins also made some significant contributions on offense. He scored nine points.

But the stat that stands out so much was Wilkins' seven steals, disrupting the Jamestown offense. "He made a difference," said Costantino.

Only a sophomore, Wilkins has a tremendous future.


"His point guard skills are improving every day," said Costantino. "He works very hard and we're hoping he has a big season."

"J.J. really changes the outlook of the game from the defensive side," said Costantino. "He is improving every day in practice too. He reminds me of former St. Bonaventure guard Tim Winn, a Niagara Falls native."

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