Watson discusses USA berth

Vol basketball player C.J. Watson, who recently survived the final cut to earn a berth on the USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team, is understandably proud of the accomplishment. Watson and his teammates, 3-0 in the Global Games after routing Africa 97-69 on Wednesday, are gearing up for the World Championships for Junior Men, scheduled later this summer in Greece.

What follows are some comments from Watson supplied by the UT sports information department:

"It feels good to be able to represent my country. I am excited to represent my school and my family. Coming into the tryouts I felt comfortable with my game. I've been playing pretty well. I've just been going out and playing hard, making good decisions and getting my teammates involved. Basically, I've just been trying to play my game.

"It means a lot to make the team. It means that I am one of the best players in my class in the country. It means that all of the hard work that I have put in over the summers is paying off.

"Going to Greece will be a lot of fun. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I've got to go out and play my hardest and try to bring home the gold medal."

Watson started every game as UT's point guard as a freshman last winter, averaging 35.8 minutes, 9.1 points, 5.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. He was voted onto the SEC All-Freshman Team by league coaches and tabbed national All-Freshman by CollegeInsider.com.

Watson isn't the only member of the 2003-04 Vol squad who has experience with the USA Basketball foundation.

- Scooter McFadgon was a member of the 1999 USA Men's Youth Development Festival South Team that earned a 5-0 record en route to the gold medal. Finished with a scoring average of 9.6 points per game.

- Dane Bradshaw was a member of the 2002 USA Youth Development Festival South Team that was 3-2 and won a gold medal.

- Major Wingate was a member of the 2001 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival South Team that won a bronze medal with a 3-2 record. This year Wingate is participating in the Global Games (not directly affiliated with USA Basketball) and is competing for the Global Select Team. On Tuesday night Wingate's Global Select Team team fell to Watson's USA Basketball Team 77-97.

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