As a kid in Nutley, N.J., Blair Watson was definitely the tallest player on any team. When she reached middle school, she was able to transition from the post to the guard position, which allowed her to hone her shooting skills.
While she knew everyone on her high school team looked to her to score, she also appreciated the opportunity to keep everyone engaged and playing their best basketball. “It pushed me to be more of a presence on the court,” Watson said. “Even though you’re the best on the court…basketball isn’t a one-person game. If you don’t have your team, you’re not going to win.”
For college, Watson chose the University of Maryland because it felt right the minute she stepped on campus for her official visit. It’s not only the alma mater of WNBA standouts Kristi Toliver and Crystal Langhorne, but the Terrapins are a nationally ranked team consistently in the mix for a Division I NCAA Championship.
“It feels like home,” Watson recalled. “All the coaches were so welcoming. It’s everything I was looking for in a school. The girls were so nice…Also, the girls I came in with were super great, and I honestly loved my class.”
Now a senior, Watson has experienced some serious challenges during her time at Maryland. She suffered the dreaded injury for female ballers, a torn ACL, midway through her sophomore season. “I had to work every day [to come back],” said Watson. “Whatever I had to do, I did.”
Watson enjoys College Park and interacting with non-student-athletes. She also checks out great places to eat and occasionally ventures into nearby Washington, D.C. An American Studies major, Watson also appreciates Maryland’s excellent academics.
Following graduation, Watson said, “Hopefully, basketball will continue for a few more years.” A dream would be to play overseas with longtime friend and former AAU teammate Stella Johnson, a senior guard at Rider University and the top scorer in Division I women’s basketball. After that, the future is open and coaching isn’t out of the question.
For now, Watson and her teammates are focused on dominating the Big Ten and earning another trip to the Final Four. The Terps are currently 16–4, and Watson was named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list.
“Going forward, making it to the Final Four and possibly winning a National Championship is what we’re locked into mission-wise,” she said. “As a senior, a goal of mine is to go out and have fun with my team and go all out for 40 minutes every game.”