Chambers On Mike Watkins: ‘Let Us Give A Kid A Chance’
Penn State men’s basketball head coach Pat Chambers broke from what we’d typically expect during the team’s media day Tuesday and commented on forward Mike Watkins’ recent citation for disorderly conduct.
Fight On State’s Mark Brennan asked the question that was a clear elephant in the room: “At what point does somebody get into trouble so many times that you can’t depend on them as a leader and a consistent player for your team?”
Rather than repeating the canned statement put out earlier by the team, Chambers actually spoke genuinely about the situation — something that doesn’t happen much anymore in college athletics.
“What I would say to that is we’ve got to let this play out,” Chambers said. “Let due process play out.”
When Brennan pushed further, Chambers fired back, showing his passion not only for the game, but for his role in developing his players into men.
“Do you know where Mike’s from?” Chambers asked. When Brennan said he’d been to Philadelphia, Chambers asked if he’d ever been to where Watkins lives. Of course, the answer was no.
“We’re trying to help and guide. We’re trying to give a kid a chance,” Chambers said. “Let us do our due diligence. Let us give a kid a chance. If not, he’s going to wind up back on the street.”
Brennan’s full video of the question and Chambers’ response is below.
This is not the first time Watkins has faced legal troubles, as he was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in June 2018. He’s also faced misdemeanor criminal mischief charges and been cited for disorderly conduct in the past.
Watkins played a major role on Penn State’s 2017-18 team, leading the group in rebounding, blocks, and field goal percentage. He missed the entire postseason due to a right knee injury, but is still one of the Nittany Lions’ most important pieces entering the 2018-19 campaign.
Chambers did not disclose Watkins’ official status with the team for the start of the 2018-19 season.
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