Justin Watts

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Justin Watts
No. 24 – Czarni Słupsk
Position Shooting guard / Small forward
League Polish Basketball League
Personal information
Born (1990-07-01) July 1, 1990 (age 27)
Durham, North Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Jordan (Durham, North Carolina)
College North Carolina (2008–2012)
NBA draft 2012 / Undrafted
Playing career 2013–present
Career history
2013 Rockhampton Rockets
2014 Mineros de Caborca
2014–2015 Takamatsu Five Arrows
2015 Defensor Sporting
2016 Vaqueros de Agua Prieta
2016–2017 New Heroes Den Bosch
2017–present Czarni Słupsk
Career highlights and awards

Justin Lee Watts (born July 1, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for Czarni Słupsk of the Polish Basketball League. He played college basketball for the University of North Carolina, where he won an NCAA Championship as a freshman in 2009. He turned pro in 2013 and won a QBL Championship with the Rockhampton Rockets. He went on to play in Mexico, Japan, Uruguay and the Netherlands.

High school career[edit]

Watts attended Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina. He was a three-year starter for Coach Kim Annas and was in the Jordan program for four seasons. He was a leading scorer on all three of the varsity teams on which he played, topped by a senior season in which he averaged 24.4 points and 8.7 rebounds.[1] Also an outstanding student, Watts was the Pac-6 Conference Player of the Year, the District 6 Player of the Year, and three-time all-conference selection and Jordan Most Valuable Player. He also made the all-tournament team at the GlaxoSmithKline Tournament in December 2007.[2]

College career[edit]

On May 21, 2008, Watts signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels.[1][2]

As a freshman at UNC in 2008–09, Watts was a member of the national championship team that were victorious in the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. He played in 27 games, including four of the six games in the NCAA Tournament, and scored the final two points against Michigan State in the NCAA championship game in Detroit. He totalled 19 points and five assists during the season and had a season-high nine points and four rebounds in Maui against Chaminade.[3]

Watts had a subdued college career, as he finished his four-year stint with averages of 1.4 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.7 minutes over 122 games.[4] Throughout his time at UNC, Watts was co-captain on a team who were perennial finalists with multiple players every year being drafted to the NBA, and although his opportunities were limited playing alongside numerous NBA recruits, he still made an impact when he was on the court, as his versatility allowed him to play multiple positions from point guard to power forward.[5]

Professional career[edit]

Rockhampton Rockets (2013)[edit]

In March 2013, Watts signed with the Rockhampton Rockets for the 2013 Queensland Basketball League season.[5] He made his debut for the Rockets in their season opener on May 11, scoring 28 points in a 97–87 win over the Gladstone Port City Power.[6] On May 26, he recorded 22 points and a season-high 14 rebounds in an 88–84 overtime win over the Townsville Heat.[7] He was unable to top his season-opening mark of 28 points, but did score 20 points or more in 13 games. Playing alongside fellow starters Stephen Weigh, Michael Kingma, Brad Williamson and Mitch Philp, he helped the Rockets finish the regular season in first place on the ladder with a 14–2 record. In their semi-final clash with the Northside Wizards on August 30, Watts scored 22 points in a 90–81 win. In the QBL Grand Final the following day, Watts had an 18-point effort in a 102–95 win over the Brisbane Capitals, helping the Rockets claim their fourth QBL Championship.[8] He appeared in all 18 games for the Rockets in 2013, averaging 22.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game.[9]

Mineros de Caborca (2014)[edit]

After negotiations with the Rockhampton Rockets fell through in March 2014, Watts joined Mexican team Mineros de Caborca for the 2014 CIBACOPA season.[10] He made his debut for Mineros in their season opener on March 28, scoring 36 points while playing the entire 40 minutes of the 97–86 loss to Zonkeys de Tijuana.[11] On April 15, he recorded 22 points and a season-high 12 rebounds in a 93–81 loss to Pioneros de Los Mochis. Much like his season-opening points total with Rockhampton in 2013, Watts was unable to eclipse his season-opening mark of 36 points in 2014, but did manage to post two 35-point efforts, as well as a 33-point game and a 30-point game. He appeared in 21 games (19 regular season, two playoff) for Mineros, averaging 22.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game.[12]

Takamatsu Five Arrows (2014–2015)[edit]

On August 20, 2014, Watts signed with the Takamatsu Five Arrows for the 2014–15 Japanese bj league season.[13] He made his debut for the Five Arrows in their season opener on October 4, scoring 17 points in an 87–72 win over Bambitious Nara.[14] On December 14, he had a season-best game with 29 points and 17 rebounds in a 107–77 loss to the Akita Northern Happinets.[15] On January 9, 2015, he was picked to compete in the 2015 bj league All-Star Game as a member of the Western Conference All-Star team.[16] Watts helped Takamatsu finish the regular season as the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a 17–35 record. In their first-round playoff match-up with the first-seeded Kyoto Hannaryz, Takamatsu were defeated 2–0 despite an 18-point effort from Watts in Game 1.[17][18] Watts appeared in all 54 games for Takamatsu in 2014–15, averaging 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

Defensor Sporting (2015)[edit]

On August 22, 2015, Watts signed with Defensor Sporting for the 2015–16 LUB season.[19] He sustained an injury on November 3, which resulted in him being replaced in the line-up by Robert Hornsby on November 8.[20] In seven games for Defensor, Watts averaged 12.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.[21]

Vaqueros de Agua Prieta (2016)[edit]

In February 2016, Watts signed with Vaqueros de Agua Prieta for the 2016 CIBACOPA season.[22] He played in the team's first four games of the season before parting ways with Agua Prieta prior to their fifth game on March 18. He averaged 11.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists over his four-game stint.

Den Bosch (2016–2017)[edit]

On October 26, 2016, Watts signed with New Heroes Den Bosch of the Dutch Basketball League.[23] Den Bosch finished the 2016–17 regular season in fourth place with a 14–14 record, and made it through to the semi-finals where they were defeated 4–0 by the first-seeded Donar. In 25 games for Den Bosch, Watts averaged 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Czarni Słupsk (2017–present)[edit]

On August 1, 2017, Watts signed with Polish club Czarni Słupsk for the 2017–18 PLK season.[24]

Personal[edit]

Watts is the son of Gregory and Linda Watts. His cousin, Hank Poteat, played eight NFL seasons with Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, New England and the New York Jets.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cole, Bill (May 21, 2008). "Watt's patience pays off with last-minute guard position at UNC". JournalNow.com. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Watts signs LOI to play at Carolina". cstv.com. May 21, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Justin Watts Biography". GoHeels.com. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Justin Watts College Stats". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Rockets to blast into 2013 season with new recruit, Watts". TheMorningBulletin.com.au. March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Rockets coach happy with win but sees Power threat". TheMorningBulletin.com.au. May 13, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Cyclones douse Flames in head to head clash at Rockhampton". TheMorningBulletin.com.au. May 27, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Rockampton Rockets beat Brisbane to win the QBL Championship". TheMorningBulletin.com.au. September 1, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Player statistics for Justin Watts". FoxSportsPulse.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ "US star Justin Watts bouncing his way to Mexico not Rocky". TheMorningBulletin.com.au. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Mineros vs Zonkeys". FIBALiveStats.com. March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Player statistics for Justin Watts". SportingPulse.com. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ Odeven, Ed (August 21, 2014). "Grouses remain in transition as preseason looms". JapanTimes.co.jp. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ Odeven, Ed (October 4, 2014). "Fukushima falls to Aomori in bj-league opener". JapanTimes.co.jp. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  15. ^ Odeven, Ed (December 14, 2014). "89ers punish sloppy Broncos". JapanTimes.co.jp. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  16. ^ Odeven, Ed (January 9, 2015). "Rosters finalized for bj-league All-Star Game". JapanTimes.co.jp. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  17. ^ Odeven, Ed (May 3, 2015). "Big Bulls trample Firebonds to advance to Eastern Conference semis". JapanTimes.co.jp. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  18. ^ Odeven, Ed (May 4, 2015). "Hannaryz cruise past Five Arrows to reach Western semis". JapanTimes.co.jp. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Justin Watts jugará en Defensor Sporting durante la Liga 2015/2016". DefensorSporting.com.uy (in Spanish). August 22, 2015. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  20. ^ "ROBERT HORNSBY JUGARÁ EN DEFENSOR SPORTING POR EL LESIONADO JUSTIN WATTS". Futbol.com.uy (in Spanish). November 8, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Player statistics for Justin Watts". FoxSportsPulse.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  22. ^ "JUSTIN LEE WATTS NUEVA CONTRATACIÓN DE NUESTRO EQUIPO VAQUEROS...". Facebook.com (in Spanish). February 10, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  23. ^ "TWEEDE AMERIKAAN OOK EEN FEIT". NewHeroesBasketball.com (in Dutch). October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Energa Czarni Slupsk lands Justin Watts". Sportando.com. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017. 

External links[edit]