Upstate Guard Hoping For Big Season

Reporter Mike Sullivan takes a Hurricane break to update you on the summer of talented upstate guard prospect J.J. Wilkins, who is making much progress in his individual game ...

J.J. Wilkins, a 5-foot-9, 155-pound quick guard prospect from Niagara Falls High School in Niagara Falls, New York, continues to make terrific progress in making himself a better basketball player, according to his head coach, Sal Costantino.

Wilkins made tremendous strides and had some solid events over the past few months, giving Costantino even more hope for the upcoming season. At the Canisius team basketball camp over the summer, the soon to be junior averaged 15 points a game. Niagara Falls High School won five of the six contests at the event.

Previously, Wilkins scored 17 points in a victory against Wilson High School, a game Niagara Falls competed without talented classmate forward Jermaine Crumpton, who would have helped out tremendously. This event was held in the Niagara PAL team camp.


"He's playing with the 16 and under Albany City Rocks," said Costantino previously. The Rocks are traditionally one of the best AAU boy's basketball programs in the country, run by Jim Hart. And the Rocks do play in the best national tournaments each spring and summer.

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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