Monday, 06 December 2021 18:53

Deshon Watson: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

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Senior shooting guard Deshon Watson has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55. Senior shooting guard Deshon Watson has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Deshon Watson, a senior basketball player, has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55.

The Raiders earned three non-conference wins last week, and Watson was the start of the team’s comeback victory at the buzzer against Pine Forest High School on Friday in the Jason Norton Classic.

A three-year varsity player, Watson is the team’s “glue guy” according to head coach Donald Pettigrew, which helped him earn his first career recognition.

Athletic Profile

Age: 18

Birthday: Oct. 12, 2003

Year: Senior

Winter Sport: Basketball

Position: Shooting Guard

Height & Weight: 6-0, 160 pounds

Years on Varsity: 3 years

Experience: 4 years


Richmond defeated Uwharrie Charter Academy, Pine Forest and Jack Britt last week, with two of the three coming down to the last play. The Raiders held on for an overtime win at Uwharrie Charter, and Watson accounted for the game winner against Pine Forest.

On the road Tuesday at Uwharrie Charter, Watson scored a career-high 11 points as Richmond defeated the Eagles 69-67 in the final seconds. 

Sophomore shooting guard Paul McNeil scored the game-winning layup with 3.3 seconds left. Watson also had 7 rebounds in the win.

Three nights later in the Jason Norton Classic, which honors the memory of the late longtime Richmond coach, Watson scored just 4 points. But his final two were the most important, which came at the buzzer on a putback.

With the game tied at 64 points, a shot from sophomore Javian Drake hit the rim and fell right to Watson under the basket. He collected the rebound and sent the ball up, which hung on the rim before falling in.

The basket at the horn emptied the bench and the bleachers, as Watson was swarmed by teammates and fans to celebrate the win.

Capping the week with a blowout win, 82-59, over Jack Britt on Saturday, Watson contributed 11 points off the bench. He was one of five Raiders to notch double figures against the Buccaneers.

Through four games this season, Watson is averaging 8.7 PPG. Richmond (4-0) will begin Sandhills Athletic Conference play on Tuesday at home against Southern Lee High School (0-4).

Deshon Watson (4) lays in a bucket during the first quarter of Richmond’s thrilling win over Pine Forest on Friday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)


ROSports: Walk us through the final basket in the Pine Forest game and what it was like to be swarmed by players and fans.

Watson: “When I saw the ball come down, it was just a fast reaction to try and put it in the basket. I didn’t see the ball go in the net, I just heard the crowd. I knew it went in when everyone went crazy. I was in the right place at the right time, something just told me to go to that spot.

“I was excited to be swarmed by everyone, but I’m happier that the team won and that the coaches were happy. Winning is the main thing and that was the best part.”

ROSports: You scored a career-high 11 points in two of the three games last week. What’s helping you settle into an offensive groove and how do you help out on defense? 

Watson: “I’m doing what I know I can do, just making smart shots. My defense is going to make me do well on offense. If I’m playing well on defense, I can force turnovers and score.

“I’m more of a catch-and-shoot player, but I know I can take it to the hoop if I need to and the open shot is there.”

ROSports: What has been the key to the team’s successful 4-0 start? And what will it take to keep that going with three more games this week?

Watson: “Our chemistry is the No. 1 thing and it keeps up going, especially in the closing moments of games. It’s hard to explain, but we just know we’re going to stay composed and not get panicked. We always feel like we can win games.

“This week we’re looking for another three wins. We want to get better with the little things, like boxing out and diving on the floor for steals and rebounds. We’re excited to be 4-0.”

The Richmond Observer will publish two more Official Athletes of the Week next week.

Last modified on Monday, 06 December 2021 18:58
Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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Twitter: ROSports_