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American Atkins dropped basketball for volleyball

by WoV
source: kdhnews.com; Photo: kdhnews.com

Esha Atkins did not have the butterflies and chills that high school athletes feel when they sign college scholarship, not when she committed to play basketball for the University of Texas-Tyler before the season, or during a ceremony in the Killeen High gym in mid-May.

Esha Atkins

Love for volleyball was irresistible to Esha Atkins

“After my signing, I just kept thinking about I’m seriously not playing volleyball. And it didn’t feel right,” the former Lady Roos setter said. “I started feeling something in my heart that it wasn’t right.”

Atkins never gave up on playing volleyball in college and she finally felt the butterflies and chills when she signed to play for Division II Virginia Union University.

“It felt perfect,” Atkins said. “I love this sport and I’m going to continue playing… Everything felt like it was in the moment. It was just really right for me.”

Numerous Division I schools recruited the two-sport Killeen athlete for volleyball during the year, but they didn’t meet her initial in-state and degree major requirements. After committing to play basketball at UT-Tyler, the volleyball calls kept coming, and Atkins’ doubt continued to grow.

Atkins, a two-time first-team all-district selection in both basketball and volleyball, entertained the volleyball suitors and eventually loosened her stance on out-of-state institutions. But, Division I programs like Savannah State and Morgan State that she’d shut out before had now moved on.

Atkins stuck to her commitment to basketball and UT-Tyler, knowing if no better volleyball opportunity presented itself, she was going to play basketball for the Patriots.

Then, Virginia Union volleyball coach Rachel Hunt called. The Panthers just needed her signature and they got it.

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