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In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
Cox Sports Television's Eric Richey interviews former Xavier men's basketball standout
Donald "Slick" Watts during CST Tonight's announcement of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame 2011 class.
about the 2011 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame class, including Induction Celebration information
XU star Watts selected for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
quarterfinals after upsetting unbeaten and top-seeded Sam Houston State 67-60 in the second round.
December 11, 2010
NEW ORLEANS — Donald "Slick" Watts,
a standout player during the 1970s renaissance of Xavier University of Louisiana
men's basketball and one of three from XU to play in the NBA, has
been selected to the
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
The announcement of the eight-member 2011 class came
Saturday on Cox Sports Television's CST Tonight. The class will be enshrined Saturday,
June 25 in Natchitoches to culminate the June 23-25
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration. A 30-member Louisiana
Sports Writers Association committee selected the inductees.
Watts will be the first Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
inductee whose XU accomplishments factored significantly in the selection. Watts'
XU coach, Bob Hopkins, was inducted in 1978 primarily because of his playing career at
Grambling and in the NBA.
Watts, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard from Rolling Fork, Miss.,
played three seasons for the Gold Rush (1970-73) and set XU career records
of 1,460 points of 331 assists. Nearly 40 years later, Watts still ranks
in the top 10 of both categories.
He teamed with another future NBA player,
Bruce Seals, to lead the Gold Rush to records of 22-5 in 1971-72 and
21-6 in 1972-73 and NAIA District 30 championships both seasons.
Those were Xavier's first back-to-back 20-win seasons since the 1930s.
Both teams won first-round games at the NAIA Division I National Championship,
and the 1972-73 team reached the
Donald "Slick" Watts
The Seattle SuperSonics signed Watts as an undrafted
free agent in 1973. He played six NBA seasons, and with the Sonics in 1975-76
he was the first to lead the NBA in steals and assists in the same season. He
was first-team All-Defense that same season and the second winner of the NBA's J.
Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for exemplary community service. Many credit Watts for
popularizing the wearing of the headband by basketball players. His 2.20 steals per game
rank eighth in NBA history.
Watts played for the New Orleans Jazz in 1977-78 and the Houston Rockets, his final
NBA team, in 1978-79. He averaged 8.9 points and 6.1 assists in 437 NBA games.
In 2004 ESPN ranked Watts 13th among the "coolest athletes of all time."
Watts received honorable mention on the All-Louisiana Team of
the Century in 1999 and was inducted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
In 2007 he was named to the Sonics' 16-member 40th-anniversary team.
Watts still lives in the Seattle area and teaches physical education
at an elementary school.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Slick Watts and
a wonderful honor for Xavier University," said Dennis Cousin, XU's director of athletics.
"Slick was a special athlete who made his mark at Xavier and in the NBA.
And his work with the youth of Seattle deserves special recognition. We at Xavier are
proud of Slick and congratulate him for his selection to the Louisiana
Sports Hall of Fame."
Also in the 2011 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame class are
former LSU and major league baseball player Todd Walker, former New Orleans Saints players
Morten Andersen, Vaughn Johnson and Buford Jordan, former Louisiana-Lafayette softball pitcher Kyla Hall,
West Monroe High School football coach Don Shows and deceased
LSU athletics director Thomas P. "Skipper" Heard.
The eight new inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members
to 285 men and women honored since the first induction class —
baseball's Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley —
were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.
Construction of a 27,500-square-foot Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum,
operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association,
is hoped to be completed in the National Historic Landmark District of
Natchitoches in time for the 2012 Induction Celebration.