Basketball in his blood, NBA in his dreams

Attles returns to the East Bay to continue his basketball career at CCC


Xavier Johnson / The Advocate

Comet guard Isaiah Attles has basketball in his blood and hopes to jump start his career playing in college. He hopes to become an architect one day.

By Joel Umanzor, Sports Editor

There are times in life when rehearsal meets opportunity and the process of experience transforms from a mental note to an acquired instinctive reaction — often in high pressure situations.
For an athlete, the idea of paying dues and working up the roster to eventually become a starter is an example of gaining experience through these moments.
This mental preparation, coupled with repetition, is required to develop a consistent body of work to showcase leadership when pressure situations occur.
For Comet guard Isaiah Attles, the two worlds of life experience and basketball experience are interwoven and play an intricate part in his present and future plans.
The sophomore guard graduated from a high school in Arizona in 2016 but attended John F. Kennedy High School for most of his high school years.
He said coming back to the East Bay was one of the reasons for his enrollment at Contra Costa College.
Attles said, “I was interested in attending CCC because it was so close to home and I knew the coaching staff was familiar with my abilities since I went to high school in the area.”
Comet Coach Miguel Johnson said the fact that Attles is from a basketball family is one of the reasons he is trusted with a leadership role on the team.
Attles’s basketball family tree is as impressive as the stats he is putting up early this season.
He is the grandson of the coach of the 1975 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, Alvin Attles, who was drafted by, and played his entire career for, the Warriors.
Attles said, “My grandfather was a player and coach for the Golden State Warriors and my father played at (the University of San Francisco) and professionally overseas.”
“Basketball has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have memories of going on the court at Oracle Arena and shooting hoops after games when I was around 4 years old.”
This shared family basketball history has motivated Attles to continue playing into college and beyond.
“I have one biological sister who actually never had any interest in playing basketball, so I am the only one in the family who has continued playing. It’s definitely something that I take pride in, considering how good my father and grandfather were.”
His plans after CCC still include basketball, but also personal educational goals that he is working toward off the basketball court.
Attles said, “I plan to transfer to a four-year school after this year and hopefully play NCAA Division I basketball, however, I would also like to take the steps necessary to become a certified architect.”
Attles is an intricate part of the CCC guard rotation for Johnson, which includes sophomores Evan Thompson and Eric Jones.
Johnson said, “We are a very tempo-oriented team and have a group of guards who have been in this system some time now.”
“We rely heavily on them to create pressure and more opportunities for our guys at the other end of the floor.”
Leadership is no foreign concept to the second-year players who understand their role on the team.
“Our offense is very small-ball heavy because we don’t really have a true center,” Attles said. “It requires all of us working and helping on both ends of the court.”
Guard Evan Thompson said whenever the team has faced situations where it needed a response, the leadership of the guards has usually been what led the team forward.
Getting off to a fast start in games has been the key with the supporting successful guard play of Attles and Thompson.
Attles said these positive experiences are the result of continuity between many of the returning players on the team.
“I feel as if our guys who have continued in this program now have an understanding of what we need to do in certain in-game situations,” he said.
He also said he understands the need for the older players to lead by example.
Coach Johnson likes what he sees from his guards, but sees more opportunity for ownership and leadership from Attles and the other veterans on the team.
Johnson said, “They are doing a lot as second-year players, but I know they’re capable of more. What Isaiah and the other guys can do is show these younger guys the routine of college basketball and what I expect out of this program.”
This past weekend, at the City College of San Francisco tournament in San Francisco, the leadership qualities of Attles and Thompson were on display during a tough 82-66 loss to College of the Sequoias.
Whenever the Giants went on a run, both guards made it a point to stop the bleeding and get CCC back in the game.
At one point, down double-digits in the second half, there were two straight possessions where Attles made uplifting statement to his teammates.
He said although down players, the Comets were going to continue playing hard.
After a coast-to-coast layup that could have easily been a 3-point play due to a hard foul at the rim, the Comets buckled down on defense and Attles came back for with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to fewer than 10 points.
Every time Sequoias thought the game was in hand, the second-year guards mounted a never say die response to the Giant’s offense.
Attles said, “It doesn’t matter who we play as long as we play hard. If we execute what we have rehearsed in our system, we can compete with other teams.”
Johnson said, “We play a system where help on both sides of the ball is needed. If we play how we should, then we control the game flow on both ends of the floor.”