Point guard strives to leave legacy on Maize South basketball

Senior Isaiah Atwater approaches his final games hoping to be remembered by the next generation of Maverick basketball players


Sydney Endicott

As their opponent brings the ball down the court to attempt a basket, Atwater is ready to play defense. During this game against Campus, Atwater held the most scored points for his team.

The moment Maize South senior Isiah Atwater first stepped on the basketball court his freshman year, the memories of playing with his dad instantly came back to him.

For Atwater, basketball became a large part of his life at a young age, looking up to players like Steph Curry and Lebron James on the television. Atwater credits being first introduced to the game by his father at the age of three.

Visual by Noah Kessler

“My dad played basketball too, so he basically taught me everything I know about the entire game,” Atwater said.

Atwater has been a rostered varsity point guard since his freshman year at Maize South and has been coached by current head coach Joseph Jackson for the majority of his high school career. Over the years, Atwater has developed an extremely strong bond with Jackson. 

“Me and coach are super close on and off the court,” Atwater said. “He has really impacted me a lot and he just always gives me good advice and always has my best interest. He’s one of the greatest coaches I have ever had and I appreciate everything he’s done.” 

Jackson has been head coach for the Mavericks for three years as well as being a business teacher. He has been coaching the game for 18 total years and even won a state championship at Wichita East back in 2015.

“I’ve got a really good relationship with Isaiah,” Jackson said. “He’s got such a great work ethic and he loves the game of basketball. And with him being a great human being rooted in him, I’m so proud of him and everything he stands for.” 

Recently, Atwater officially committed to play basketball for Division II college Missouri Southern State University starting in the next upcoming season. Although Atwater hopes to have a strong freshman season with Missouri Southern, he wants to stay focused on having a successful season here and to win a state championship. 

“I have kind of just tried to focus on now and not look too far ahead,” Atwater said. “My main goal is to win state and have as good a final season as I can.”


Vince Stalled

 When considering the impact he wants to leave from his time at Maize South, Atwater’s positive mentality and being there for his teammates is the most important legacy he hopes to leave.

“I hope I can be remembered as a good teammate,” Atwater said. “Even if people do not appreciate what I did on the court, I hope people appreciate me as a person and a teammate.”

Jackson credits Atwater’s well-rounded approach and mentoring and believes he will leave a legacy on the program long after his last game.

“The biggest impact he’s gonna leave on our program is for the people after him,” Jackson said. “He leads by example. He’s got a great work ethic, he studies the game. All of those things add up to being the exact person we want in our school program.”