At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, over one hundred players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated, and today’s edition will highlight Xavion Atkinson of Goldsboro High School.
We were able to see Atkinson multiple times this summer with Garner Road Whitley, where we stated, “The Garner Road Whitley squad is simply loaded with next-level prospects, and Atkinson has been quite impressive over the weekend. He’s long, tough, athletic, and fairly skilled. Atkinson did a little bit of everything while making hustle plays and filling in the gaps on both ends of the floor. He has next-level ability and could help a variety of programs.” He was later featured in an overview article about the team, stating, “Atkinson is a strong, powerful wing prospect with a multipurpose skillset and rugged two-way identity. He possesses great length and seems to get downhill whenever he desires, whether in transition, as a cutter, or off the dribble. Though Atkinson does just about everything well on offense, his defensive prowess is arguably as appealing as any part of his game. He’s a game-changing presence on that end of the floor, simply able to overwhelm opponents with his blend of IQ, motor, strength, and aggression.”
Although Goldsboro doesn’t receive the same attention as cities like Charlotte or Raleigh, Atkinson still has the complete makings of a scholarship-level prospect. He’s strong, tough, and overwhelming physically but also offers IQ and a useful all-around skillset. Atkinson is excellent at getting downhill, attacking the basket, and finishing through contact with relative ease. He’s an obvious difference-maker defensively, offering a terrific blend of length, strength, and quick-twitch anticipation. Atkinson is also a powerful athlete with the necessary frame and motor to punish his assignment on either end of the floor. He’s great in transition, makes smart decisions in the half-court, and simply produces in all facets of the game. This season, he averaged 19.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.2 BPG while limiting turnovers and shooting 59% from the floor. Between the numbers, eye test, and overall body of work, Atkinson should be an obvious target for various programs at the next level.