The Van Buren Boys

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Friday, March 02, 2007

The Other Recruit

With all of the focus on the All-Americans coming in next year, and rightfully so, none of the VanBuren Boys are talking about the third recruit JTIII is bringing in: Omar Wattad. Wattad is a shoot guard/small forward who was completed unrecruited. Seriously, our prime competition was UNC-Wilmington. Scout lists the 6'5 Tennesseean as a "mid-major" recuit, and only gives him a 3 star rating. And yet, JTIII decided he deserved a scholarship. My guess is JTIII thinks he has a chance to be the second coming of J-Wal. Evidently, he wowed the staff when he visited campus and, largely because he plays in a pretty uncompetitive league, has not gotten much attention. Anyway, this whole thing would be kind of a head-scratcher, if we didn't have faith in JTIII's ability to find diamonds in the rough.

As Wattad wraps up his senior year, his team is heading toward a state championship. Here are some recent articles:

Hilltoppers roll into AAA finals
Science Hill punched its ticket to the sub-state round with a convincing 54-36 victory over Tennessee High in the Region 1-AAA boys basketball semifinals at Sullivan South High School on Tuesday. The Hilltoppers (31-7) led for the duration and stayed ahead by at least two possessions for most of the contest. . . . Senior star Omar Wattad led the way for the ’Toppers. He scored 10 points in the first half and maintained a strong prescence in the second half to end with a game-high 18. “They beat us in the district semifinals and then to have a chance to get to the region championship, if you’re not motivated by that, then something’s wrong,” said Wattad. “We wanted this win way more tonight. Other games against them we’ve passed it around the perimeter. Tonight, we attacked them. Let’s win this region and get a home game, so we can get down to Murfreesboro and the state.” With Josh Odem, Wattad and Chris Smith all hitting 3-point goals in the first period, Science Hill bolted out to a 14-9 lead.

Third Time Proves Charm for Science Hill,
Hilltoppers Rip Indians for Region Title
"[The Hilltoppers] came out firing on all cylinders, making five of their first six shots to grab an early 13-5 lead and never let the Indians closer than two points the rest of the way en route to a 70-58 victory and the title. "This was revenge,'' said Science Hill's Omar Wattad, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game and was named MVP of the tournament. "We couldn't afford to lose to them for a third time. We had to get it. There was no other way. We HAD to have a home game (for the sectional). My Senior Night was special, but not special enough. I want to go to state. I have never been to the state tournament.''

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