If Christ the King High School is to win its third straight New York State boys basketball championship in 2015, the Royals will have to accomplish the three-peat without one of their rising stars.
After enjoying a breakout junior season en route to helping the Middle Village school sweep city and state titles, Travis Atson announced last week he will transfer to South Kent, an all-male private boarding school in Connecticut.
After an ACL tear cost him his freshman season and rendered his playing time limited as a sophomore, Atson exploded onto the Catholic High School Athletic Association scene this past season.
He scored nearly 17 points per game and won CHSAA city tournament Most Valuable Player honors after registering 21 points and 10 rebounds in Christ the King’s victory over arch rival Bishop Loughlin in the city championship game in March.
Universities such as Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac and St. Bonaventure have already extended scholarship offers to Atson, and Fordham, where former Christ the King star Jon Severe plays his college ball, has also expressed some interest in the guard.
Over the years, South Kent has become known as something of a training ground for future basketball stars. Past Queens high school ballers Russ Smith, who won an NCAA title with Louisville in 2013, and Maurice Harkless, a former St. John’s University and current Orlando Magic forward, both attended the prep school for a year before playing college basketball.
The two-time defending champion Royals won’t be without their share of star power next season, though.
Just a sophomore last year, Rawle Alkins emerged as one of the city’s best talents. Like Atson, Alkins averaged 17 points per game last season, and the guard scored a game-high 24 points in the Royals’ city title victory.
Prestigious basketball schools such as Indiana and Villanova have already extended scholarship offers to Alkins.