The Washington Post

Virginia Tech forward Manny Atkins will transfer

Virginia Tech forward Manny Atkins has decided to transfer at the end of the spring semester, Coach Seth Greenberg announced Monday.

Atkins, a 6-foot-7 rising junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., appeared in 33 games off the bench during the 2010-11 season and averaged 13.3 minutes, 4.9 points and two rebounds per contest.

During the ACC tournament and the National Invitation Tournament with the Hokies down to just seven available scholarship players, Atkins’s scoring average jumped to more than nine points per game.

“The only reason I am transferring is to find a school where I can be more of a focal point in the offense,” Atkins said in a school-issued statement. “This is a difficult decision because I will miss my teammates. I wish them and the program nothing but success in the future.”

The Hokies have both guard Dorenzo Hudson and forward J.T. Thompson returning to the team next year after they were each granted a fifth year of eligibility due to injuries last season.

Virginia Tech will also welcome top recruit Dorian Finney-Smith to campus this fall. Finney-Smith, a Portsmouth, Va., native, was recently named the AAA player of the year in Virginia by the Associated Press and plays the same position as Atkins.

“Manny Atkins is as good a kid as we have had in our program for the last eight years,” Greenberg said in a statement. “It is his desire to pursue a situation that would give him a better opportunity to have a major impact. We will do everything in our abilities to assist him in that process. We wish him all the best. We will miss him as a teammate and a member of our basketball program.”

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.

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