Many pitchers spend much of their off-season in weight and exercise rooms, but new Angel left-hander Allen Watson adds some flavor to his winter training. He plays basketball almost every day at his old high school in New York City.
"I love basketball," said Watson, who was traded by San Francisco for first baseman J.T. Snow in November.
Watson, a 27-33 pitcher, is still trying to fulfill his baseball potential, but he is probably one of baseball's best basketball players.
In his senior season, 1987-88, at Christ the King in Queens, Watson started and averaged 12 points a game on a 25-3 team that included six future NCAA Division I players and one NBA player--Khalid Reeves, Arizona and the New Jersey Nets; Derrick Phelps, North Carolina; Jamal Faulkner, Arizona State and Alabama; Carl Beckett, St. John's; Nick Sanchez, Florida, and Carlos Easterling, Rhode Island.
"I learned to deal with a lot of pressure in high school, and that goes a long way toward helping you down the road," Watson said. "I'm not afraid of crowds."