presenting Tony Watson II from Pro Training Basketball
Like I mentioned in the last basketball interview, it is super important to build strong relationships with great people! I emailed Tony because he has a passion for basketball just like I do. We can relate on so many levels because we give everything we got to the game and to help others achieve their dreams.
Tony has some special things going on @ Pro Training Basketball. I wanted to interview Tony because he has a story to tell to our youth to inspire them to reach for their dreams through hard work, persistence, effort, and dedication. Hopefully, this information is helpful to those who are serious about becoming a better basketball player.
Tony, tell us about yourself…
I am Tony Watson II, founder of Pro Training Basketball. I am also a professional basketball player, which I have been playing professionally for two years. My basketball career started at the age 4, where I played my first season at the YMCA in Jacksonville, Florida.
Growing up playing at the YMCA and the PAL, I was able to develop strong fundamental skills that served as my platform for other skills I would later add to my game. After the sixth grade, my family and I moved South to Palm Beach, Florida where I felt my career take huge strides.
As a youngster all the way through high school, I was fortunate enough to play for my father, Tony Watson who also played D1 Basketball. In high school, I played and started all four years as the point guard for the Palm Beach Gardens Gators.
During my high school career, I was able to score over 2000 points while also leading my team in assists. I received a handful of accolades: 4x All-Conference, 3x 1st Team All-Area, and 2x 2nd Team All-State, which got the attention of some great AAU and College Programs.
I was able to showcase my skills on the biggest AAU stages when I played for NIKE Team Florida for two consecutive summers. After a solid summer campaign and prior to my high school senior season, I signed a letter of intent with the University at Buffalo (D1) on a full athletic scholarship.
My transition to college wasn’t as smooth as I expected. I was challenged daily by bigger, faster, and stronger teammates which made me better both physically and mentally.
Through these rough patches I developed a work ethic that propelled me to the next level and got the attention of my coaches in which they named me team captain my junior and senior seasons. I was able to find a consistent spot in the rotation my junior year at the shooting guard position. And as a senior, I became a full time starter.
After a solid senior season, averaging double digits in scoring and solid numbers in assists and rebounding, I was approached by a number of agents that wanted to represent me going into my professional career.
After signing with an agent, just two months after graduation, I signed my first professional contract to play in Germany. And while in Germany, I decided to start Pro Training Basketball, as my professional playing and training career continues…
How did you become a good basketball player?
I believe the biggest reason why I am a good basketball player is because of my love and passion for the game, as cliché as that sound. My father was a player and now coach. So growing up, I was always in a gym.
Hours on hours just at the gym whether it was my actual practice or game or I was watching from the sidelines at one of my dad’s practices or games. Just being in the gym I fell in love with the game early and I wanted to be the best that I could be.
But other than my father, I believe my mother was the backbone to my career. She was the one who always told me how it really was, and didn’t sugar coat anything. She could always tell when I was off and knew how to get me going again. She was/is my biggest fan and the most supportive person in my life both on and off the court.
I think the biggest thing that would of helped me more as a youngster to be even better today was to take more advantage of the off-seasons. I was really wrapped up in AAU ball, playing in the biggest Nike Tournaments/showcases and going to any and all exposure camps.
But what I wasn’t doing was taking full advantage of my off-season workouts. So, yeah I got the exposure I needed, but I was just playing in games and not really improving on my skills.
Which leads me into a quick message to you younger players and that is too TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE OFF-SEASON! Yes play AAU, yes go to exposure camps, but don’t forget to really work on your own skills. I think kids today play too many games in the off-season and don’t work on their game enough.
What is pro training basketball about?
Our mission at Pro Training Basketball is to provide players who have the same passion for basketball as us, achieve their dreams. And we do that by providing them with a ton of free resources such as how-to videos on YouTube and free workouts, all in which you can find at www.ProTrainingBB.com. And because of that, we have become the fastest growing basketball brand on the Internet with us being only 1 year old.
Our big project that’s coming up is our first full 9-week Ball Handling Program. Its called ‘PROfect Your Dribbling’ and it will be the first and only type of program out on the market like it. More information about that will be released the closer we get to June.
What we want to do at Pro Training Basketball is be the first stop for every player when they need guidance on how to improve their game, whether that is physical or mental. With my background and basketball resume, I can provide 1st hand insight to any problem or concern a player has in his/her game.
How did you earn a college scholarship?
Earning a basketball scholarship was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. As a youth player that is one of the steps in your career you are always looking forward to and you think you are ready for. But in reality, when it really happens, it much more special than you could imagine.
Like I mentioned before, I played varsity for four years, played on the best AAU teams at the time and was able to play well at the top-notch exposure camps. But what set me apart wasn’t my shooting, dribbling, playmaking abilities and definitely not my athleticism.
There are guys all over the world who can really ball. What got me my scholarship was my passion, my leadership, my drive and most importantly my ability to take care of business in the classroom.
A lot of players forget that in college, you are classified as a Student-Athlete with the emphasis on student first. With me being one of those guys who took care business on and off the court, kept me in high regards with the coaches and let them know they could trust me on the court in high-pressured situations.
Now to rewind a little bit, I want to go back to the recruiting process. Being 15, 16, and 17 and being approached by colleges is really cool. My biggest advice I can give kids about recruiting is to never overlook any school.
Even if it’s a small school in the middle of nowhere, let them know you’ll consider them and make the best choice for your career. You never know if you have to go back to one of those schools and you don’t want to burn any bridges.
For me, I was able to sign before my senior season, which allowed me to focus on winning instead of thinking about myself in the back of my mind. I was being recruited by a ton of schools from all over, but I wanted to sign early and know for sure where I was going and there was one school who was confident enough in me to do so.
The University at Buffalo saw my play in a tournament in Orlando and apparently I played well enough for them to give me holler. I went on a visit all the way up to Buffalo, New York. They showed me a great time and showed me where I’d fit into the system and a week after my visit, I verbally committed.
How did you earn a professional basketball contract overseas?
I mentioned earning a college scholarship is one of my biggest accomplishments in my life. Well another one that’s just as big if not bigger is earning your first professional contract. And the process for that is completely different…
So first things first, to even be considered a “professional” basketball player is to have a good college career. To give yourself a better chance you’ve got to have good numbers, but most importantly is be on a successful team. You see it all the time. Guys who played for teams who won are the guys who get opportunities at playing and earning money later on.
So how its different from college is now you have an agent, most of the time, and that agent is basically in charge of finding you a job in a good situation. What I mean by good situation is a safe country that is known to treat their players well and a team that fits your particular style of play. Both of those go hand and hand because one without the other can be detrimental to your career.
There are people who can help you get to the next level at least for your first contract, but its strongly based on your play. You will then heavily depend on your agent and that can make or break your career. That’s why networking is so important!
Being able to find an agent that you trust can come from another teammate you played with before or someone you know knows someone else. Either way networking can really help you find a reliable agent that knows what he or she is doing. You may also be able to find a good agent on LinkedIn.
Once you get your contract is when the fun stuff really happens. Now you’re overseas, playing for money but don’t get it twisted, you’re there for a reason. My job as a point guard is to run the team. Yes I was asked to score, yes I was asked to make plays but at the end of day if I couldn’t run the team, I would be asked to pack my bags.
As Americans overseas, you are usually put in a situation where you are going to have a huge impact on the team’s success and if you can’t provide what the team needs, bye bye. It’s a positive and a negative to the job.
The positive is you get to be the man and have the ball a lot, but the negative is that if you can’t reach or exceed expectations, you’re out and they’ll bring in another American to take you place. You gotta love it right?!?!
What else should we know about Tony?
As far as anything else for you readers is whatever you want to accomplish in life whether that be basketball or non-basketball related, do it to the fullest and give it your all.
The worse feeling is to look back and say, I wish I would of did this or I wish I would have did that. And know that anything you really set your mind too, and I mean like 110%, you can achieve it. #PROfectYourGame
P.S.– Anybody who wants to reach me with any question about myself, Pro Training Basketball or even your game, you can do so by going through our website at http://www.protrainingbb.com/contact-us.html or hit me on InstaGram or Twitter @Pro_Training_BB and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our channel giving you all a new video every Monday and Thursday. https://www.youtube.com/user/ProTrainingBball
WOW Tony, great story! If no one is inspired by that, then they don’t have a genuine passion for basketball. I really like what Tony represents and what he is trying to accomplish! Tony hit on some great points, which concludes; work on your game every chance you can get and most importantly find time in the off-season to perfect your game.
Lastly, be a student-athlete with an emphasis on being a student first. I know a lot of talented players who didn’t fulfill their dreams because they were an athlete-student. Tony Watson II is also going to be a resource in my 2015 Edition of the Expert Guide to the Top Basketball Drills Infographic. This will be published next week, don’t miss out! Thanks Tony!