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Archive for Tuesday, April 18, 1995

S BARN ALLURING TO WATTS

April 18, 1995

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Donald Watts didn't hesitate when asked to participate in Saturday's Converse All-America all-star basketball game.

Not wanting to pass up a chance to play in Kansas' tradition-rich Allen Fieldhouse, Watts, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Kirkland, Wash., immediately accepted the invitation.

"During the recruiting process, I heard it was a nice place to play and had the basketball mystique about it," said Watts, one of 18 players who will compete in the high school-juco all-star game, set for 8 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. A slam dunk and three-point contest will start at 7.

"I just wanted to experience that, since I didn't choose to go there."

Watts, who hails from Lake Washington High, will be attending the University of Washington next season.

"Kansas didn't have the most interest of everybody," said Watts, the son of former Seattle SuperSonics all-pro guard Slick Watts. "They were interested, but they were kind of hesitant because of my school situation. They didn't know what would turn out because I hadn't taken the SAT yet, so I couldn't visit there. It was definitely one of my top choices," added Watts, who averaged 24 points and eight rebounds this past season and was named the Seattle Times state player of the year.

Watts, who chose Washington over several other West coast schools, finished his prep career with over 1,700 points. He had 14 games with 30 points or more and won two King County scoring titles.

"I'm trying to gain a little respect as far as nationwide respect for basketball. The northwest isn't really known as a basketball powerhouse for putting out basketball players," Watts said. "I've got a little something to prove."

Watts vowed he won't try to be flashy.

"First of all, I'd like to see my team win," said Watts, who will play for a national all-star team. The Nationals will play future players from the Big 12 Conference, including KU signees Ryan Robertson and T.J. Pugh.

"I would like to make some fun stuff happen, some nice passes and to push the ball out into the open floor because everybody is pretty athletic," Watts said. "I want to let everybody do what they can do and for me personally I want to stay within myself at the same time."

Watts is proud of his heritage.

"(Slick) really got me started. He knows what it takes to get to the NBA, which is where I ultimately want to end up if I can," Wats said. "He is always making sure I don't quit."

Slick Watts introduced his son to several sports.

"Actually I tried all other sports -- soccer, tennis, everything -- before I tried basketball. When I was young, my dad told me I had to choose one, to be a specialist in one and I chose basketball," the younger Watts said. "After I chose, then he was on me to try to make sure I did right and to try to get me where I want to be, the NBA."

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