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Atty finishes varisty career as Braves’ top scorer

Fonda-Fultonville's Jackson Atty (5) drives to the hoop between Canajoharie's Robert Fairley (1) and Marcus Johnson during Western Athletic Conference action Dec. 20, 2019 at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FONDA – When the 2019-20 high school basketball season started, Jackson Atty needed just 102 points to join the elite 1,000-point club for the Fonda-Fultonville Braves.

He reached that goal on Dec. 20, 2019 and 42 days later hit 33 points against Berne-Knox-Westerlo to move past Kevin Hanson to the top of the Braves’ all-time scoring list and finished with 1,380 points at the end of his five-year varsity career.

“I’d say it was both exciting and a relief,” Atty said about getting the record. “I was excited because to say your on a list with two other great basketball players [Alex Mancini, 1,239 points, Hanson 1,265 points] truly means a lot. It was also a relief because everyone has personal goals, and one of mine was to reach the 1,000 point plateau this season. So, it was a big accomplishment for me and I couldn’t have done that without all of the support from my family, coaches, friends, and teammates.”

Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said that achieving the scoring milestones was fitting for Atty.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this,” he said. “For someone who has worked as hard as Jack, he never missed a practice or took a practice off and overcame two serious injuries. For someone who loves the game, and puts in as much time as Jack, being the all-time leading scorer in program history is such a deserved honor.”

Atty also set records for the Braves with 278 career 3-pointers, 93 3-pointers in his senior season and 11 3-pointers in a game.

The two-time Western Athletic Conference Hudson Division MVP caught Wilson’s eye and earned a spot on the Braves’ varsity as an eighth-grader.

“The first thing that jumped out to me was the most obvious, his ability to shoot the ball,” Wilson said. “But as important as that was, his basketball IQ was so advanced. He had the poise, knowledge, and maturity of someone way beyond his years. I knew he could handle it both socially and talent-wise.”

After a successful first season and a promising freshman season ahead of him, Atty faced adversity.

“I broke my wrist in our first scrimmage of the year,” he said. “When the doctor told me mid-way through the season that it still hadn’t healed and that the season was most likely over for me, I was very frustrated. Not being able to do something you love and not being able to be out there with your teammates to help them win hurts.”

Fonda-Fultonville's Jackson Atty puts up a 3-pointer during the first quarter of a Dec. 20, 2019 Western Athletic Conference game against Canajoharie at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Wilson said he was looking for Atty to step up during his freshman season and become a key player for the Braves.

“Jack really showed his maturity and love for the game during his freshman year,” Wilson said. “He went from being someone we were looking to take a big step from eighth grade; we needed Jack to step up and be more aggressive and score for us. Then after the first scrimmage of the year, his role changed big time. The entire team was devastated for him, we never thought we would lose him for the entire season. We always held out hope that he’d be back. But through it all, Jack became an even better teammate, he was everyone’s biggest cheerleader and on top of it, the kid never missed a practice. He was as much a part of that team as anyone. As tough as it was for him, you’d never have known it.”

Atty came back in his sophomore season but missed seven games with a stress fracture in his foot.

The Braves came together in the 2018-19 season posting an 18-5 overall record and earned a trip to the Section II Class B Final Four before falling to Schalmont in the semifinals.

With a full season under his belt, Atty put up 497 points that year, including a 40-point effort, and finished the year with 898 career points.

Wilson said Atty’s game changed that season.

“Jack improved every year. He went from being a catch-and-shoot player in eighth grade, to someone who ran the show for us,” he said. “He really progressed in his ability to create his own shot, which came with physical maturity and confidence. Jack also improved defensively. He was always an extremely hard worker, but the last two seasons, Jack became such a great defender. He almost always guarded the other team’s best guard and it’s always what he wanted. He took great pride in that part of his game.”

Fonda-Fultonville upset Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons to win the WAC Cup championship game after finishing second to the Knights in the league standings this past season.

The Braves earned the the eighth-seed in the Class B postseason tournament but were upset by Hoosick Falls in the opening round and finished the season with a 16-5 overall record.

Looking back at his career and what stood out for him, Atty said, “There’s so many things; it’s so hard to narrow it down. The one thing that will stay with me is that all of the hard work that I’ve put in has finally paid off. I’ve achieved personal and team goals and have grown as a person and a player.”

His passion for the sport started early when his parents set up a hoop for in their yard when he was about four years old.

Since then several people have helped him develop his game.

“There are many people who have helped me along the way,” he said. “First and foremost, my parents, Tricia Javarone and Kyle Atty, who guide me to be the best I can be everyday. I have to thank all the coaches, teammates, both past and present, and all of the people who come out to watch us play and provide their support. It always impresses me to see people in the stands who don’t have players on the team, but still come to watch.”

Atty also gets a chance once in a while to watch his sister Carly, a sophomore who hit 34 3-pointers and 188 points for the Fonda-Fultonville girls basketball team this season, play but scheduling conflicts sometimes prevent it.

“I always like trying to get to see Carly play, but sometimes it’s hard with both of us having games on the same days,” he said.

In true brotherly fashion, Atty said he offers advice to his younger sister.

“I try to point certain things out and give her some constructive criticism, because I know that she has a lot of potential to be an even better basketball player than she already is. She doesn’t always want to hear what I have to say, but she knows I’m always right,” he said with a laugh.

Wilson reflected on Atty’s career with the Braves, saying, “I think the thing that sticks out about Jackson Atty, and the biggest reason I’m going to miss him, is the type of kid he is. He is such a humble young man. You would never know whether he just made a shot or missed a shot. He just runs back on defense. You would never know if he just made 11 3-pointers versus Tamarac or if he was 0 for 11. He would act the exact same way. The way he would take the time with young kids who looked up to him, always willing to give a high five and have a conversation with them. We will obviously miss Jack’s abilities on the court, but just as much, will miss how he represented our program.”

Atty will continue his basketball career at Castleton University here he will study sports management.

“I feel that Castleton is a great fit for me, both academically and athletically, and I am very excited to get started,” he said. “Thanks again to everyone who has helped and guided me along the way. I’m proud to be able to say, ‘Once a Brave, Always a Brave.’ “

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