UTC gets Hoyas' Wattad

UTC gets Hoyas' Wattad

May 2nd, 2009 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

Georgetown University sophomore basketball guard Omar Wattad plans to transfer to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Mocs coach John Shulman, who graduated from East Tennessee State, recruited Wattad with fervor at Science Hill High School in Johnson City.

UTC made Wattad's top five at the time, but he chose to play at Georgetown and regularly face some of the best teams in the nation.

"It was an easy decision, and this is the second time around, so I had to be smart about it," Wattad said. "Coach Shulman is a great guy, a great coach and he believes in me. I can say he believes in me more than any other coach in the country."

The 6-foot-5 Wattad played in 25 games last season and started once. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game while shooting 33.3 percent from the floor for the Hoyas, who went 16-15 overall and 7-11 in the Big East.

"The first message Coach Shulman got after winning the conference was from Omar," said Wattad's father, Ahmad. "We are very happy for Omar, and we feel that he as a good chance to maximize both basketball and education at Chattanooga. Coach Shulman will be a great mentor and affect his life on and off the court."

Wattad said he will likely pursue a degree in political science. He will have to sit for a season, per NCAA transfer rules, and have two seasons of eligibility left. Wattad and his father are unsure of his scholarship status for next season. It is possible that Wattad could be eligible for a HOPE scholarship.

"I don't get into the details because I trust Omar 100 percent and I trust Coach Shulman 100 percent," Ahmad said. "Even when we were talking to Georgetown, I never got involved with that."