Upstate Underclassman Guard Is Recovering

Reporter Mike Sullivan takes a detailed look at the individual game of upstate underclassman guard prospect J.J. Wilkins, who competes for Niagara Falls High School in New York ...

J.J. Wilkins, a 5-foot-9, 155-pound quick guard prospect from Niagara Falls High School in Niagara Falls, New York, didn't play this past week at the University of Buffalo team camp, according to head coach Sal Costantino.

Wilkins, who previously had a very good team camp performance at Canisius in mid-July, has an undisclosed injury, according to Costantino.

In the Canisius team camp, J.J. was tremendous. He averaged 15 points a game as Niagara Falls High School won five of the six contests.

Previously, Wilkins scored 17 points in a win against Wilson High School, a game Niagara Falls competed without Jermaine Crumpton in the Niagara PAL team camp.

Wilkins has also been splitting time also playing with a highly regarded AAU boy's basketball program this summer, according to his high school coach, Sal Costantino.

"He's playing with the 16 and under Albany City Rocks," said Costantino. The Rocks are traditionally one of the best AAU boy's basketball programs in the country, run by Jim Hart.

J.J. also scored 13 points in an upstate all star game. He also had five assists.


Wilkins had a terrific 2010-2011 season for first-year head coach Sal Costantino. 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 Niagara Falls High School.


J.J.had some fine games on both ends of the court this past season, including 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."

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