Feb. 15, 2011
The Notre Dame men’s basketball team is off to a brilliant 21-4 start this season and is currently 10-3 in the BIG EAST Conference. One of the many reasons for the team’s great season has been the play of freshman guard Erik Atkins who has seen action in all 25 games this year, making six starts. The 6-2, 173-pound guard is averaging over 27 minutes per game off the bench with 6.6 points and 3.8 assists per game. The Columbia, Md., native turned in a career-best 15-point game on Jan. 10 as he helped lead Notre Dame to a 79-57 win at Marquette. The Irish are currently second in the BIG EAST, two games behind Pittsburgh for the league lead. Atkins and his teammates travel to West Virginia on Feb. 19 for a 1:00 p.m. game against the Mountaineers. Following a practice last week, und.com’s Adam Schmitz had a chance to catch up with the freshman guard to talk about his rookie year at Notre Dame.
Who have been some of your role models growing up? My father has been my main role model growing up.
Why did you choose to attend Notre Dame? I chose Notre Dame because of the tradition, academics and the opportunity to get playing time my freshman year.
Where are you living this year? I am living in Stanford Hall.
What has been your favorite class at Notre Dame? My favorite class has been Common Human Diseases.
What has been the toughest part of adjusting to Notre Dame in your freshman year? The toughest part has been managing my time, with classes and playing basketball.
What is your favorite dining hall food? My favorite dining hall food is funnel cake fries.
What is your favorite restaurant off campus? So far, I like Max and Erma’s the most.
What is your favorite sport to participate in outside of basketball? Football is my favorite sport outside of basketball. I was the quarterback on my high school football team.
What is your dream job outside of playing basketball? My dream job would be to coach a team when I am older.
What major will you pursue at Notre Dame? I haven’t decided on a major yet.
Who is your favorite professional athlete? My favorite athlete is Rajon Rondo.
How often do you go to the barber? I go to the barber once a week.
What is a typical weekday like for you, during the season? I get up and come to the gym to shoot at 8, I have class at 10:40, then go to lunch and back to class before practice at 3:30. Then I will usually shoot after practice for a little while before I go to dinner with some of my teammates.
What is your favorite Coach Brey saying or quote? My favorite coach Brey quote is, “Do what you do.”
Who on the team does the best impersonation of Coach Brey? Alex Dragicevich does the best impersonation.
What is your favorite away court to play at and why? I liked playing at Pittsburgh. It was the biggest win of the year and our first road win.
Who is the funniest guy on the team? Tom Kopko is the funniest guy on the team.
Do you or your teammates have any nicknames for Coach Brey? No, we don’t have any nicknames for the coach.
What are your individual goals this year? I want to make BIG EAST All-Freshman Team.
Have you ever dunked in a game? I attempted 2 dunks in high school but didn’t make either.