DeHavalan Watts signs with NMJC
ROBERT C. McDONALD —
DeHavalan L Watts II signs her letter of intent to attend school and play basketball for the Thunderbirds of New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M. She is joined by her father, Herbert Watts Jr., and her mother, DeHavalan L Watts.
FLORESVILLE -- The power may have gone out in the middle of her celebration, but that didn’t dampen the mood last week, as Floresville High School graduate DeHavalan L Watts II signed her letter of intent to attend school and play basketball for the Thunderbirds of New Mexico Junior College (NMJC).
The Jaguar guard considered a few different options before deciding on NMJC, but said she knows this was the best decision for her. Watts relied on her faith in God to help her with the decision, as well as the counsel of her parents, church leaders, former teammates, and coaches. She also made a visit to the campus, which impressed her greatly, even more so than some of the larger four-year universities she visited. She also said the campus felt “safer” than some of the others. She plans to study criminal justice, and was further impressed by the educational facilities at NMJC.
In terms of basketball, Watts said her new coach has 35 years of coaching experience, and has built a successful program within a very competitive conference. The Jaguar guard, who has been playing since she was 2 years old, will continue to learn the one-, two-, and three-guard positions, and remains focused on working her way onto a Division I team after finishing her time with the Thunderbirds.
There is a lot for her to look forward to, but things like “growing up” are what came to her mind first.
“I’m looking forward to learning to do more things for myself -- to maturing,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to having more responsibility for my individual success. I know my teachers and coaches will leave things to me to do on my own. I’m looking forward to becoming wiser.”
As for what she leaves behind, Watts said she will certainly miss her family and friends, but also her sense of privacy.
“I enjoy my quiet time in my room,” she said. “I can just go in there and be alone -- think about stuff. At school I will have a roommate. I’ll have to make some adjustments.”
When asked about goals for her freshman year in college, Watts said she had several, but many had nothing to do with basketball.
“I would like to continue to become a better person,” she said. “I also want to become more mature, and be more disciplined in attending study hall and focusing on my school work.
“I also want to become a better player,” she said. “Really, I want to be a better person on and off the court. But I do want to develop as a player, and be able to help others get better.”
Her character traits of helping others and always seeking improvement were reflected as she recounted her most memorable times as a Jaguar.
“I’d say it was my junior year,” Watts reflected. “Having my old coach leave and a new coach come in. It made us realize what we had, but also gave us the chance to learn new things, and to put it all together. It was also my first year to start, and to take on a role as a leader.”
Watts was a multi-sport athlete at Floresville who stood out and earned four-year varsity letters in cross country, spring track and field, and basketball.
She won district championships in cross country, track and field, and basketball, and was awarded the Barbara Harvey Award last month. During her senior basketball season, Watts averaged more than 13 points per game by scoring a total of 448 points. She also pulled down 105 rebounds, and had 69 assists. Defensively, she came up with 59 steals and 7 blocks.
She is the daughter of Herbert Watts Jr. and DeHavalan L Watts. She has one brother, Herbert “Tre” Watts III.
“I am just very thankful and feel blessed to have made it this far,” she said. “It wasn’t easy, and it took everyone’s help. I’m just very thankful.”