Vegas, Orlando Among Stops For Watkins

Future Mountaineer basketball player Brandon Watkins is counting down the days until he can sign his letter of intent with West Virginia.  The WVU commit out of Grady High School in Georgia committed to the Mountaineers back in October of last year during his junior year of high school.

Now, nine months later, Watkins is trying to add more size to his 6-foot-9 frame.

“A of people are saying there’s still room for me to grow more.  And I think so too, so hopefully I can get a couple of more inches,” he said.  “I would be happy to get that, but we’ll see.”

That 6-foot-9 measurement, he says, is without shoes.  So, on the court, he stands in easily at 6-foot-10.  Like many high school seniors, it’s Watkins size and weight (217 pounds) that will need to make the biggest jump for him to eventually excel at the next level. 

“I’m getting stronger,” he said.  “There were a couple times this week that I played some guys well over 240 pounds.  A couple months ago I probably would have had a tough time, but after this weekend, I held my ground against them.  I’m just going to keep working so by the time I’m at West Virginia, I’ll be a nice, solid weight and I can handle some of those guys.”

Watkins has had a busy summer overall, most recently attending the NIKE Skills U camp, which featured 80 of the top players in the country.

Click below for the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline interview with Watkins:

“I thought it was a great thing to attend,” Watkins said.  “There were a lot of good players.  Before I went, I just wanted to make sure that I played hard and just went out and had fun.  And I did that in front of Coach Huggins and everybody.  There was a lot of good competition out there that I had to play against.”

A lot of those players, however, are still trying to draw attention and interest from other schools before making a college decision.  For Watkins, though, that added pressure is long gone.

“In the beginning when a lot of schools were coming in, I was thinking it was going to be really tough,” he said.  “But once West Virginia came in I made that decision early and it just took a lot off.  I knew where I was going, so then I could focus on things that I really need to do instead of picking schools.  I think making my decision very early made things easier on me.”

And As for the rest of the summer?  Watkins will be playing with the Georgia Stars AAU team, along with possibly another summer league team in the area as well.  If things work out with the second team, he’ll take part in the Las Vegas Fab 48. 

There will also be a stop this upcoming week in Augusta for the NIKE Peach Jam and then later a trip to Orlando for the AAU Super Showcase by ESPN.

All in all, a very busy summer for the future Mountaineer.  But ultimately, it’s a prime opportunity for him to carve his skills before heading into his senior season of high school.

“Not knowing how tall I will get, I need to continue working on my back-to-the-basket game,” he said.  “It’s not that bad, but I do need some more work on it.  I’m so used to just facing-up.  I’m so light and going up against heavier competition that I have to use my quickness to get around people.”

And before you know it, Watkins will finally be able to sign that letter of intent this fall with the Mountaineers.

“I can’t wait,” he said.

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