There will be another Atkinson playing for the Barton Bulldogs.
I spoke with recent Fike High School graduate Jeremy Atkinson on Friday afternoon and he confirmed that he would continue his basketball career with Barton. The paperwork has yet to be finalized but that should happen in the next week.
I know Jeremy hoped to play NCAA Division I basketball but the truth is that at 6-foot-4 with post skills, he is a "tweener." I have no doubt he can play at the Div. I level but I think that he will find four years playing at Barton more satisfying than possibly spending half that time on the bench at a major university.
I don't know if he will be able to step in and dominate at the Div. II level as he did in high school but I imagine that Bulldogs head coach Ron Lievense will find a spot for him in the rotation.
The Bulldogs won their only NCAA championship in 2007 with Anthony Atkinson, Jeremy's second (or third or fourth) cousin at the helm. I would imagine that Barton opponents will have an uneasy feeling seeing that name across the back of a Bulldogs jersey for another four years. Not to compare Jeremy to Anthony, whose game is completely different, but I have high hopes that with the team Lievense has coming back and the recruiting class he has coming in, Barton will be poised to make another championship run.