Photo courtesy of Position Sports/Nike
By David Cordova
In the state of Connecticut, the basketball scene is very strong. Everyone knows about it due to the exploits of the University of Connecticut for both their men’s and women’s teams. But as far as individual talent, the Nutmeg State has produced some good pro talent such as Michael Adams, Marcus Camby, Ryan Gomes, Rick Mahorn, Calvin Murphy and Charles Smith.
In the present day, in Connecticut’s prep scene, there is one player that has a chance to make it big and is representing the state in a big way on the national scene. The player’s name in question happens to be none other than Tremont Waters.
The 5-foot-11 guard from New Haven, Connecticut has been one of the best point guards in his class since his freshman year of high school. Rated No. 32 in the class of 2017 by ESPN, Waters is a diminutive guard that runs the floor very well and has plenty of poise and toughness.
“I want to pretty much provide for my family. The game of basketball started out [for me] at the age of five, and working hard got me to where I’m at, and I want to be successful,” says Waters on his love for the game.
The city of New Haven is famously known for being the home of Yale University, the prestigious Ivy League school. But although there is a great academic institution is in town, there’s also the harsh realities of the urban community. In 2010, New Haven was ranked as the eighteenth most-dangerous city in the country.
“It’s a tough town to grow up in, there’s a lot of killing, murder and stuff like that,” says Waters about his city. “But just being pretty much sheltered by my parents, in a good way, not holding me hostage, letting me live my life and letting me do the things that I want to do, but knowing that was safety was first.”
Although he is a basketball player, Waters is also an academic scholar as he is an A-student. “Books always comes first. There’s three B’s in the house – Behavior, Books and then any ball you want to play with. So Tremont the Scholar, I just take pride in getting good grades,” says Waters about his academic excellence.
Waters started out high school at South Kent School in South Kent, which is a private prep school in the suburban part of Connecticut, which is more than an hour away from New Haven. Over the last decade, their basketball program has been highly-competitive and has played a national schedule. South Kent has produced pros such as Andray Blatche, Ricky Ledo, Russ Smith, and most recently, Maurice Harkless (Portland Trail Blazers) and NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics).
In his time there, Waters raised a national profile and made his name on the court. “South Kent, it was definitely a fun experience. It was new. I left my house when I was 15 to go away to boarding school and my parents were crying when I left, even though I wasn’t that far. Overall, it was a great experience, I matured a lot. It was filled with great players like Myles Powell (Seton Hall), Matt Moyer (Syracuse), Tyler Foster (uncommitted senior at South Kent), Aaron Carver (Old Dominion), a bunch of great players that ended up playing Division I, so me being able to mature as a young man on & off the court has been a blessing.”
After three years at South Kent, Waters made the move closer to home for his senior year and enrolled at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Connecticut. He led the Green Knights to a 23-2 record and a second-rout appearance in the Connecticut Class LL state tournament. He ended up averaging 25.3 points, 4.6 assists and 4.6 steals and was then named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Connecticut.
“It didn’t end the way I wanted it to end with a championship, but I think I did good, I won Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut, I got a couple of SCC awards, a bunch of city awards, we didn’t win, but it was still a successful season,” says Waters about his senior season.
Because of his great play at South Kent and on the AAU circuit with both the New England Playaz on the Adidas Uprising circuit and on the Nike EYBL circuit with Expressions Elite, Waters was a highly-rated recruit. Back in October, he chose to commit to Georgetown University. But during the season, the Hoyas had a dismal season, going 14-18 overall, which led to the firing of head coach John Thompson III after thirteen seasons. It was then that Waters decided to decommit from the Hoyas and reopen his recruitment.
“They just felt like family, it was a humbling situation, it was obviously the fact that Coach Thompson, Jr. was there and Coach Thompson III was there, so it just felt like family and I felt like they would always be behind me and whatever decision I made on & off the court, they would be there to support me,” says Waters about his decision to commit to Georgetown.
“They had a good basketball team, the campus was nice and everything. It was really the situation of the coach being fired and I didn’t want to go into a situation in which there were talks of my coach being fired, so that’s why I decommitted.”
At the present time, Waters is still looking at plenty of major schools, such as Duke, Kansas, Georgetown (they are still on his potential list of schools), Indiana and local favorite UConn. When asked what he wants in a school, he said, “Somewhere where they’ll let me run the show, become a much better person on the court & off the court, market me and let me show the world what I can do and also make my teammates better.”
Last weekend, at the Hoops Showdown in the Bronx, he put on a dazzling performance in front a huge crowd in the small gym of the Bronx River Community Center. “I like the intensity, everyone stands up, they amp you & clap, music playing, they got people on the mic like Cha-Ching, and everything like that, so it’s an electrifying feeling to come into a situation like this and just show everyone what I can do and just get the gym rowdy,” says Waters about playing in New York.
With the late signing period coming to a close on May 17th, he is still mulling over his collegiate decision. But whatever school wins the Tremont Waters Sweepstakes can expect this: “Same thing I’m doing now, but a much better Tremont Waters, always stay humble, you always gotta bring out the dog sometimes, just working on bringing out that dog, and winning a national championship.”
When asked what he looks forward to in the future, his answer was summed up in one word: “Success.”
Highlights of Tremont Waters:
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Courtesy of The Hoops Column.
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