Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Hapoel tabs Euroleague rebounding king Watson
Sep 16, 2008
by Yarone Arbel, Jerusalem
Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem reinforced its frontcourt with one of the best rebounders around by landing big man Travis Watson for the upcoming season. Watson (203, 28) arrives to the Israeli capital after spending the last two seasons with Armani Jeans Milano of the Italian League. Last season he led the Euroleague regular season with 9.7 rebounds per game and his career 8.3 rebounds per game average is fourth best in competition history for players with at least 30 appearances. Watson played high school basketball at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy before moving to Virginia University where he spent four years. He was one of the best rebounders in the strong Atlantic Coast Conference and finished with averages of 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds in his senior season. He also played for the USA Under-19 national team that won the silver medal in the World Championship in 1999.
Watson's first stop in Europe came in the 2003-04 season when he signed with Panionios Athens. He once again averaged a double-double – 13.6 points and 12.2 rebounds for the season – and finished as the top rebounder of the Greek league. After another double-double season and another individual rebounding title with Panionios, he moved to Italy where he made his Euroleague debut with Climamio Bologna in 2005-06, where he set a Euroleague career high of 17 rebounds against Union Olimpija. That season Climamio qualified for the Top 16, won the Italian SuperCup and later on the Italian championship. Afterwards he moved to Milano where he has spent the past two seasons. In addition to his rebounding exploits, Watson averaged 11.7 points on 63.5% shooting in 14 Euroleague games last season.