Upstate Guard Hoping For Big Summer

Reporter Mike Sullivan takes a detailed look at the skill level of New York State underclassman J.J. Wilkins, who had a very good season for his boy's basketball team ...

J.J. Wilkins, a 5-foot-9, 152-pound guard prospect from Niagara Falls High School in Niagara Falls, New York, is a player to watch this summer as he competes in the top AAU events and tournaments. Wilkins, competing for the West squad, scored 13 points in a close game. J.J. was very efficient from the point guard position, handing out five assists in the all star game and showing more improvement in the leadership area of running an offense.


Wilkins had a terrific 2010-2011 season for new head coach Sal Costantino's boy's basketball team. While the year ended With a sectional title loss to Jamestown, a team Costantino's program had defeated in the regular season, Wilkins made an impact in many ways.

J.J. scored nearly 11 points a game this past season and was one of the better defenders game after game for his team.


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.


"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."

Wilkins will be a junior next season for Niagara Falls High School.

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