The college recruitment scene has been heating up the past few days, and no one has made bigger headlines than Athlete Institute’s Howard Washington Jr.
The 6-foot-4 guard originally out of Buffalo, New York, officially committed to Syracuse University via Twitter on Thursday, making him the second player out of the Orangeville based prep academy to do so this season.
Washington first started making some noise back in 2014 when, as a duel citizen, he joined the Canadian men’s junior national program as a sophomore out of Canisius High School in Buffalo.
What Syracuse will be getting is a very athletic combo guard that has turned himself into an impressive shooter that has always had a knack for finding his teammates on the floor.
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But it’s Washington’s ability to find those teammates, whether on CIA Bounce, the Canadian national team, or A.I. Prep this season, that really sets him apart from other players at his position.
Washington has been surrounded by talent that’s seen a bit more attention than himself for most of his high school career, but it’s been that ability to play along this level of talent that has always garnered attention from some of the biggest names in college basketball.
He’s a distributor through and through, making that even more evident with his play this season alongside fellow Syracuse commit Oshae Brissett.
To play alongside one of the most sought after prospects in North America, and excelling at that, has them looking to follow in current Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker’s footsteps, and get A.I. Prep to repeat as OSBA champions, before they both move onto the Orange.
Add in his killer instinct behind the arc to spot up almost anywhere on the floor, his at times “in your face” attitude towards opposing players, and he becomes a much more credible offensive threat.
It is that almost perfect size and athleticism to run that will have Washington at the helm of what will no doubt be a fast and entertaining offence to watch in ACC play next year.
His defence remains respectable, and his ability to constantly chatter to teammates, whether up or down by 20, also makes him a noticeably mature, but very intense player.
That maturity will come in handy when 30 plus thousand Orange fans will be screaming in his ears next season when he’s on the floor.
We haven’t even begun to discuss the Tyler Ennis comparisons, as Washington is a product of the current Los Angeles Lakers, and former Syracuse Orange, AAU program, a fact Washington pointed out during his commitment statement.
To sum things up, what Syracuse has landed this recruiting season out of the GTA will no doubt improve their roster going into the next academic year in a big way, a fact that will bring the sting of their highly publicized lack of inclusion into this year’s NCAA tournament down a little for fans of the Orange.