Watford a potential 5-star legacy in the making for IU

Ranked already as the No. 11 player in the class, Alabama forward Trendon Watford looks poised to surpass what his older brother Christian Watford accomplished in his college career at Indiana.

With the No. 11 ranking in the Class of 2019 and over a 1,000 points in his short high school career, Trendon Watford is setting a pretty mean early pace. One that may have him on a path to surpass the things his older brother Christian Watford accomplished in Birmingham (Ala.) prep basketball and later in his four-year career at Indiana University.

That's probably why the Alabama Challenge Nike program felt the 6-foot-8, 215 pound forward from Mountain Brook High was ready to face players two years older in the EYBL 17 & under age group this offseason.

Watford more than held his own. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds a contest over 15 games this spring

At the Nike Elite Invite in Augusta, Georgia earlier this month, he served notice that his improvement was still on the fast track, scoring 46 points over two contests when Peegs.com's Jeff Rabjohns was in the gym.

He displayed a better jumper than shown by his 23.5 percent shooting from behind the arc over the spring.

"I think I am shooting the ball pretty good. Not great but you can always do better," Watford said at the event.

That's a focus of his offseason

"Trying to make that jump shot better, get my handle tight and finish a little better."

The fact he has three more years of high school ahead of him hasn't deterred his list of early suitors, especially those schools not far from his Birmingham area home.

"Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Florida, Central Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia," Watford said.

In regards to Indiana interest he would only say at this early stage "they're still watching, I guess." 

The Hoosier staff has the luxury of familiarity as the Watford family was a regular at Indiana home games during his older brother Christian's career which ended in March, 2013.

"We went to most of them, especially his senior year," Watford said.

Trendon Watford turned 12 during his brother's senior year which included an outright Big Ten title and several weeks as the No. 1 team in the polls.

"That last year was great," Watford said. "They lost only like six games and the crowds were great every game."

Christian Watford is still at it having most recently played for the Reno Big Horns of the NBA Development League. He played last July for the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Summer League.

"We work out all the time," Trendon Watford said. "He's both, a mentor and a brother. A trainer, all of that.

"He's still trying to get to his dream but still looking out for me too."

Two million dollar dream

This week Christian Watford and some of his old Indiana teammates can realize a dream by taking home the winner-take-all $2 million prize at The Basketball Tournament held this week at Philadelphia University. Armored Athlete features Watford, former Hoosiers Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey, Butler alum Roosevelt Jones and former Purdue point guard Jon Octeus. The team will play in the event's quarterfinals after making it through qualification play last week in Chicago.

The Armored Athlete quarterfinal game against Golden Eagles Alumni will be shown on ESPN2 this Friday night at 7 p.m. Ironically the opponent includes a number of players and coaches that Indiana's Tom Crean coached when he was at Marquette.

Note: Jeff Rabjohns contributed to this report


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