UAB lands national champ PG Dayshawn Watkins for ’13 class

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The Arkansas Wings are among the country’s most traditionally strong grassroots basketball teams, and romped to an AAU 11th Grade National Championship at the end of July, dismissing opponents from across the land along the way to their title.

While elite center Bobby Portis, an early Arkansas pledge, was the key name on that Arkansas Wings team, the squad also boasted a more than able point guard in Dayshawn Watkins, of North Little Rock. Watkins kept the ball in Portis’ hands in the post, and also hooked up future high-major big man Moses Kinglsey on a regular basis, in addition to scoring some points of his own. Now, Watkins has made his college decision, as he looks to be a better than solid addition for UAB.

Watkins was also impressive in 19 games in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, averaging better than 11 points per game in league play, and also racking up 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. While he wasn’t much of a 3-point threat (23 percent on 39 attempts), he did get to the free throw line more than anyone on his squad, and converted 85 percent of the time.

While Watkins size at 5-11 isn’t overwhelming, he probably could have snagged at least a handful of high-major scholarship offers had he waited until the spring to sign. Still, he appears to have wisely selected his level, and can reasonably be expected to be a better than average starter in the Conference USA for coach Jerod Haase. Additionally, UAB can certainly benefit from ties to the Arkansas Wings program, which has plenty of talent across several age groups going forward.

Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.