From the Shoalhaven to America, it’s been an exciting year for Josh Watts.
The former Shoalhaven Tiger flew out to the United States last Friday to study and play basketball at Castleton University in Rutland, Vermont.
Late last year, the former Chevalier College student created a YouTube video of his previous representative season where he earned the NSW Southern Junior League Most Valuable Player award.
Watts posted this footage online with his contact details attached in the hope of receiving a college offer.
Within a few weeks Watts had been contacted by coaches from various universities and colleges across a number of states including New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Texas, Oregon and Hawaii.
These offers were to play in the NCAA (division two and three), NAIA (division one) and NJCAA competitions.
Watts will begin his American college journey on August 20. He will be part of the Honours program studying Health Science at Castleton University, with the goal of pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
The NCAA basketball season begins in November and will run through to March 2019.
“I’m really excited to begin training with my team and becoming the best I can possibly be,” Watts said.
“Castleton has moved from the North Atlantic Conference to the Little East Conference this season which is a part of Division III NCAA.”
Watts was a part of the minor premiership winning Shoalhaven Tigers side in the Waratah Youth League division two competition this year.
“I would like to thank my teammates and coach Scott Balsar from Shoalhaven for developing my skills during the season and creating such a strong team culture,” he said.
He and his father have also spent plenty of time on the court getting ready for the step up to college basketball.
“My dad and I have been training around four times per week with the main focus on shooting and ball handling,” he said.
“I’ve also been working with my physiotherapist Dallas Wilson, who has helped me get through a few injuries early in the season as well as some weight training to help me prepare for the quicker and stronger athletes in the U.S.”
Watts will be at Castleton for four years but will return home during the summer breaks.
“I want to be the best basketball player I can possibly be, so some experience training and playing at the collegiate level will hopefully help me develop my game,” he said.
“At the same time I’m really fortunate to be given the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree while doing what I love.”