Natachia Watkins changed her Eastern Michigan University basketball number to 50 in honor of her sister, who passed away after last season.
“My sister played basketball in high school and college at Notre Dame College and she wore [number] 50,” Watkins said. “Shortly after last season she passed [away] due to a stroke and series of heart attacks. So I wear this number to show my support and love for her. And I dedicate this season to her.”
In 2011, Watkins was on the Eagle squad that won the Mid-American Conference and earned a shot in the NCAA Tournament. Watkins was also recently named to the 2012 All-MAC West Preseason team.
“She never quits and she brings a lot of energy,” teammate Miranda Tate, number 21, said. “She is someone you want on the court with you. You know she is always ready to go to war with you.”
Watkins is a junior who hails from South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She has been playing basketball since second grade. She also ran track in eighth grade, but she said she abandoned it in favor of basketball.
Watkins is currently majoring in simulation, animation and gaming. She said after she graduates, she wants to work with an animation company. Her dream job is to work for Pixar, known most notably for Watkins’s favorite movie “Toy Story.”
Watkins said her favorite professional sport is basketball and her favorite professional athlete is Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
In a couple weeks, Watkins will be celebrating her favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. She will be spending it eating a variety of different foods with her family, with whom she said she is really close.
“I am a big family oriented person,” Watkins said. “Being away at college made me realize that I would rather spend a week with them relaxing than going out with friends.”
Growing up, Watkins said her favorite cartoon was the Nickelodeon hit “Hey Arnold.” Now, she said she enjoys a few different shows. Among them is the FOX comedy “Family Guy.”
As a junior, Watkins has had a chance to sample what many of you know to be the exquisite cuisine here at EMU. She said her favorite place on campus to eat is the Marketplace.
Despite winning a MAC title, appearing in the phenomenon that is March Madness and being named All-MAC, Watkins said her biggest accomplishment to date is being named as one of the Players of the Year for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Watkins’s favorite types of music are hip-hop, rhythm and blues and gospel and she said that her favorite musician is R&B artist Usher.
Being family oriented, Watkins said that her biggest role model is her dad.
“He has been through a lot in his life,” Watkins said. “No matter what, at the end of the day he always has a smile on his face and still puts everyone before him. Also he teaches me a lot [about] God and basketball.”
Tate had one final thing to say about Watkins, “She really is a good person and there if you need anything.”