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Former Gonzaga Prep standout Anton Watson: ‘I can play one through five’ at Gonzaga

At Gonzaga Prep, Anton Watson did a little bit of everything on the basketball court.

At Gonzaga University, he’s ready to do the same.

“I feel like I can play one through five,” Watson said. “At Gonzaga, I’m going to play where they want me to play and adjust.”

At 6-foot-8, Watson was often the tallest player on the court for the Bullpups. But that didn’t stop him from taking the ball up, facilitating, or playing on the perimeter — duties typically assigned to a point guard.

“(Prep) had faith in me that I can dribble and bring it up the court, that I can play that point position,” Watson said.

Watson helped lead Gonzaga Prep to back-to-back 4A state championships. As a senior, he was named unanimous 4A state tournament MVP after averaging 21.7 points per game (including 33 points in a convincing state championship win over Mount Si).

To cap that off, he was named Mr. Basketball by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association as the best player across all classifications.

But now he turns the page.

Gonzaga coaches told Watson that he’d play the three in college, with a little bit of four. That indicated to him he’d need to work on his ball handling, which he said is his main focus before reporting to campus on July 1 for summer school and workouts.

Much of Gonzaga’s roster is in limbo as five players are going through the NBA Draft evaluation process, along with the three players graduating. On Sunday the Zags added graduate transfer Admon Gilder, a 6-4 combo guard from Texas A&M.

Watson watched along this past seasonas Gonzaga made another deep run in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Elite Eight before losing to Texas Tech. He’d followed the Zags progress in years past (the university is just down the street from his house after all), but this year was decidedly different. He felt like the Zags genuinely had the talent to win a national title.

That gives Watson a renewed focus as he hones in on his college basketball career. A four-star recruit, per 247 Sports, Watson is the highest-ranked recruit ever to come out of Spokane.

“I’m definitely trying to bring Gonzaga their first (national) championship,” Watson said.

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