Career’s Tanaya Atkinson has won awards, scored over 1,000 career points, captured conference titles and a state title. But nothing was more rewarding then helping her teammates.
“People would swear that they can’t do stuff until you actually make them do it,” she said.
Atkinson helped one of her teammates drive left in practice when she did not think she could.
“She took me to the basket,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson played as well as she taught, averaging 23 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists per game and captured 2013-14 New Haven Register All-Area and State Player of the Year honors.
This is Atkinson’s first State Player of the Year honor award and her second consecutive All-Area MVP. She also made CHSCA All-State and was awarded the inaugural Southern Connecticut Conference Player of the Year award.
Atkinson admittedly doesn’t try to get caught up in her own hype. However, after all of the accolades of her senior year, even the humble senior took notice.
“Just scrolling down GametimeCT, looking at the comments and write ups, its a real big pat on my back,” she said.
Her coach, Steve Bethke, said Atkinson deserves the accolades. He said she’s gone above and beyond to not only be a great player, but also a role model.
“She’s really a great kid,” he said. “She’s a better person than she is a basketball player, but you also know from a basketball standpoint she’s a game-changing type of kid.”
Despite her ability, her team lost in the SCC tournament final and in the Class LL state tournament quarterfinals to Mercy, Atkinson said this season was the best out of her four years at Career.
“We all fought for the same thing,” she said.”We all wanted it. It just wasn’t our time.”
With high school behind her, Atkinson is focused on college. She is headed to Temple, and that has been on her mind all season.
“When I’m in the gym,” she said. “When I’m working out with my old AAU coach.”
She said this season she focused on playing at a college level. Her main focus is staying healthy throughout the summer before starting a new journey.