HOPSPTS-12-19-20 ALIJAH WATTS-PHOTO1

Hopkinsville’s Alijah Watts drives during practice this week.

Hopkinsville’s Alijah Watts missed a big piece of last year due to an injury, but when he was healthy, you knew he was out there.

Watts averaged 13.4 PPG in just seven games last season, which put him second on the team behind Don Victor and at the top of all returning players.

Watts said watching from the sidelines for the majority of the season last year was difficult in times when the Tigers struggled.

“When I was watching the games and seeing them struggle at times when I know what I can do — it bothered me,” he said. “When I came back, I just tried to do my best to tell them and go as far as we could.”

Now entering his senior season, Watts is ready to lead his team as far as he can.

“I think the ceiling is high,” he said of the team. “I believe if we can do what we do in practice and just take it into the games, we can go pretty far.”

The leadership trait is something Hopkinsville head coach Larry Miller has seen as well. Miller said it’s good to see his senior step up to push the team forward.

“I think he’s stronger,” Miller said. “Overall, I’m happy with the leadership he’s trying to give.”

The Tigers returned a majority of their starters from a year ago with Watts at the top of that list. The senior believes his team has a lot of really good pieces following a 14-17 record a year ago.

He said he is looking for the group to push the envelope in the 2020-21 season.

“I want us to try and dominate,” Watts said. “Play to the best of our ability and try to make it to state this year. We’ve got a pretty good squad lengthwise and have a couple of good guys off the bench.”

While Watts was the top returning option this season, there were still holes in his game.

He is hoping this offseason allowed him to patch up the holes and make his strengths even stronger so he can take the Tigers even further.

“I’ve been working on my dribbling, my IQ, energy and my awareness coming into the year,” Watts said.

In his final season with an orange and black jersey on, Watts wants to go big and has his sights set up for his team.

“Get to state, and hopefully win it all.”

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