MIDDLETOWN — Tremont Waters grew up at the Greater Hartford Pro-Am. His dad would bring him from New Haven to Hartford where he’d lie on the sideline with one of his best friends to watch the games.
As he got older and developed into the 37th ranked player in his class coming out of Notre Dame High in West Haven, Waters took the GHPA court himself.
On Saturday, with the event moved to Middletown, Waters made his return.
“It’s a dope thing to be able to come back and play,” Waters said after putting on a show in front of several Pro-Am legends he used to watch. “That’s very inspirational. I know there’s kids around that are coming to watch, and you never know who is going to grow to become the next player to be able to play in this. That’s pretty inspirational for me.”
Waters was named First Team All-SEC in his sophomore year at LSU before being selected in the second round of the 2019 NBA draft, 51st overall, by the Boston Celtics.
The 2017 Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year was named the NBA G League Rookie of the Year in 2020. He played 37 games in Boston over two seasons, averaging 3.8 points and 2.1 assists in 9.6 minutes per game before signing with the Milwaukee Bucks and being traded to the Lakers’ G League team for Frank Mason III.
“Along my journey, playing with the Celtics, going to Puerto Rico, going from state to state playing with G League teams — I’m just literally having fun, enjoying it and just trying to give back as much as I can when it comes to helping younger guys play,” Waters said.
He scored 29 points on Saturday for the All Faith Memorial Angels after converting several dazzling layups at the rim, sinking a step-back fadeaway jumper and throwing down an alley-oop that ignited the crowd surrounding the perimeter of the court.
Waters, a crafty 5-foot-10 guard, played for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2022 NBA Summer League but signed a contract at the end of July to play the upcoming season professionally overseas in France’s top league. Before joining Metropolitans 92 in Paris, he’ll return to Puerto Rico for the Olympic qualifiers.
“I’m just enjoying my journey,” Waters said. “Whatever happens along the way, I’m going to take it on the chin and just continue to do what I can to just fight through everything. For me everything’s mental. I lost my dad, and he was a very mental guy — he would take on other people’s problems and just show how strong he could be mentally and obviously, physically comes after that.”
Waters has played for five cities since signing with the Bucks in September 2021, most recently averaging 9.8 points through four games in the NBA Summer League with the Grizzlies.
“The last couple years have been up and down,” Waters said. “Just enjoying the journey, not getting too high on wins, too low on losses. Just taking it day-by-day, doing what I can to control what I can control and try to be an even better person.”