Donald "Slick" Watts
Induction Year: 2011
An NAIA All-American at Xavier in New Orleans and a first-team NBA All-Defensive selection as a 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard, Donald "Slick" Watts was a dynamic pro guard who made the Seattle SuperSonics 40th Anniversary Team in 2007. He averaged 18.3 points and 3.5 assists per game during a three-season career at Xavier University (1970-73), earning All-America honors as a junior and helping the Gold Rush post back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the late 1930s. Xavier won NAIA District 30 championships his junior and senior seasons and reached the NAIA national quarterfinals his senior year after a second-round upset of top-seeded and unbeaten Sam Houston State.
An undrafted free agent who played six NBA seasons, he led the league in assists, assists per game, steals and steals per game in his third season with the Seattle SuperSonics (1975-76) en route to making the All-Defensive team. He was the first of only four players to lead the NBA in assists per game and steals per game in the same season. He ranked second in assists and third in steals in 1976-77. He averaged 8.9 points and 6.1 assists in 437 career NBA games and ranks eighth in NBA history with 2.2 steals per game for his career. He played 4 1/2 seasons with the SuperSonics, half a season with the New Orleans Jazz and one season with Houston before retiring in 1979 because of injuries. His best seasons were in 1975-76 when he averaged 13.0 points and 8.1 assists and 1976-77 when he averaged 13.0 points and 8.0 assists.
He was the first Xavier player inducted into the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame (1991) and the 18th-leading vote-getter on the LABC All-Louisiana Team of the Century. Watts was credited by NBA.com as the “first NBA player to turn a bald head into a fashion statement.” In 1975-76, he was the second winner of the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for exemplary community service.