While everyone involved with Providence Day’s rise to becoming one of the city’s best boys basketball teams was proud to watch the Chargers’ ascent, perhaps no player is more deserving of its success than senior guard Jordan Watkins.
A four-year starter who has been one of the Chargers’ top players each year, Watkins has been on the other end of the spectrum as Providence Day struggled his first two years, posting a combined sub .500 record.
But the last two years have been vastly different, as they went 23-4 overall this year after finishing 25-7 the season before.
Behind Watkins’ senior leadership and a talented roster, the Chargers defeated powers Independence, Hough, Greensboro Day and St. Francis (Georgia’s private school state champs) and went 8-0 to win their second consecutive Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association conference title, outscoring opponents by more than 20 points per game along the way.
And even though the Chargers were stopped in the second round of the private-school playoffs, Watkins has no regrets about the hard work he and his teammates invested.
“It was a good thing, ending off with a winning season,” he said. “It would have been good to get the ring, obviously, but I’m not really that selfish about it because I’m just glad I could help the team progress. I think helping them know what the expectations are and showing them what they need to do to get the ring for themselves is the biggest thing for me.”
Watkins certainly set the example, working tirelessly on developing his game from more of a 3-point shooter into a Davidson College commit and the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2014 South Charlotte Weekly Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
He again led the team in scoring, this year averaging 15.1 points per game despite taking four less shots per contest than he did last year. He also averaged 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals – an indication of his on-court contributions and versatility.
But he was just as important off the court, too, helping show some of the younger players, including junior Chaz Raye and sophomore posts Grant Williams, Isaac Johnson and Josh Howard, what it took to be a successful college-bound athlete.
“I think everyone developed in their roles on the team and I’m really happy for that,” Watkins said. “Grant played really well, especially down the stretch, Chaz has gotten a lot more confident, and that will only help them next year. Mainly, it’s just the roles of everyone stepping up and continuing what we started these last two years. That’s what I will look back on.”
While Watkins left all he had on the court this year, he’s equally ready to be a Davidson Wildcat next season.
“I’m excited about being around new teammates,” he said. “They’ll bring new things to me and I’m going to be at the bottom again. That’s what I like most about the game, just learning from other people and being able to be taught the game in different ways.”
And that’s exactly what Watkins did as a Charger, leading with his actions on the court and his words of encouragement in the locker room.
“I think I’m most proud of probably just being a good teammate,” Watkins said. “Most of the guys look up to me – and that’s kind of hard as a player to get other people to look up to you.
“It’s especially hard when you have colleges recruiting you and it’s easy for people to say ‘He knows where he’s going, so why is he telling me stuff? I need to worry about what I need to do,’ but all of the guys look up to me, ask me for tips and we really converse and try to get better together. Most teams aren’t like
But coach Brian Field knows most players aren’t like Watkins, either.
“It’s never been about Jordan Watkins, it was always about our team and that’s a testament to Jordan,” he said.