Atkins’ first step

Freshman guard Regan Atkins discusses her first year at Slippery Rock

Published by Ryan Mosher, Date: March 18, 2024
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Slippery Rock women’s basketball standout Regan Atkins joined The Rock unsure of what to expect from herself. What she was sure of was her readiness to make an impact no matter the role she had.

“When I came here, I wasn’t sure what to expect from myself,” Atkins said. “When I came into this, I definitely wanted to make some kind of an impact, whether I got as many minutes as I did this year or just coming off the bench giving all I had.” 

It’s safe to say Atkins met her goals, if not exceeding them. 

“I definitely exceeded my expectations as far as what I could’ve done.” 

The guard broke the freshman record for minutes played in a season with 917, breaking Becky Siembak’s mark of 829 minutes from the 1999-2000 season. 

It was not a shock to see her play so much, especially as the season went on. After all, basketball has been her sport for a long time. Atkins originally found her love for basketball when she was watching her older sister’s practices.  

“In sixth grade maybe, I would go to all of her basketball practices and her coaches would let me hop in on a lot of the drills. I think just from there the love for the game began when I was just playing basketball with the older girls.” Atkins said. “Ever since I was little basketball was my favorite sport.” 

Over time Atkins’ love for the game turned into skill, which led her to play a level of basketball that many do not reach. And of course, it is every young basketball player’s dream to succeed right out of the gate.

The first-year guard was able to do just that. She finished her freshman season ranked in the top five among freshman at the Division II level in scoring at 15.2 points per game. Her scoring output also landed her tenth in all the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).  

Hailing from Laurel High School, a small school just 12 miles down the road, Atkins was a three-sport athlete before coming to The Rock.  

“Multisport athletes are much more successful in their main sport because they are very diverse in the things they bring to the table,” Atkins said. “Track helped with speed purposes and volleyball helped with jumping.” 

Her diverse skillset was part of her success this early in college. It also helped contribute to creating some basketball memories that will stick with her for a long time.

Atkins mentioned the White and Green’s first win of the season against Shippensburg University, The Rock’s first win under head coach Ryenn Micaletti, as a particularly exciting moment in her first year. 

“That game overall was just so much fun, the energy in the gym was crazy,” Atkins said. “I played well that game so that was obviously a plus for me, but just being able to get coach Micaletti her first win here at Slippery Rock was so much fun and that is something none of us will ever forget because we got to celebrate in the locker room with her.” 

On Dec. 19, 2023, The Rock rolled over the Raiders 49-32. Atkins led the convincing victory with 19 points and was efficient with her shooting. She made seven field goals on the night, four of them came from behind the ARC. The guard added two blocks and one steal to the stat sheet as well.

Kristina Donza and Gabby Jackson, a senior and junior at the time, added nine points each. SRU totaled 10 steals en route to forcing 23 Raider turnovers.

“We were so excited,” Atkins said. “One of our teammates got the idea to dump the gallon of water we had on our coaches. So, when they came into the locker room, we got the Gatorade jug. It was just water, luckily not Gatorade, but we emptied some of it out, so we didn’t completely drench them.” 

The Newcastle, Pa. connection between Atkins and coach Micaletti quickly formed. While the guard didn’t have a personal connection with Micaletti before arriving at Slippery Rock, she had “only heard good things about her.” 

“Our record didn’t really show that, but we did grow a lot as a team,” Atkins said, when reviewing the season. “We did build a lot of team chemistry…really important when it comes to focusing things down the line, when it comes to winning.”  

This SRU team was young and will have the chance to grow as a team under the guidance of coach Micaletti. 

Despite team struggles in her first season, Atkins is committed to the process.  

“I love it here,” Atkins said. “I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

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