Washington commits to Princeton
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
October 14, 2011 · Updated 8:53 AM
Combining an excellent academic record with an outstanding basketball career, Mike Washington Jr. has earned the opportunity to play in the Ivy League next year.
Washington Jr., an Oak Harbor High School senior, made a verbal commitment recently to play for Princeton University, a Division I school in Princeton, N.J.
The Tigers began recruiting Washington Jr. in earnest in May and he visited the campus Sept. 24.
“I loved everything about the campus,” he said. “The players were great; the coaches are young and enthusiastic.”
He said he still has to apply to the school and go through the acceptance procedure, but the coaches said he should have little trouble getting in.
Washington Jr. also received offers from Seattle University, Air Force, American University and Wyoming. Washington Jr., who has a 3.98 grade point average at OHHS, said he was swayed to Princeton because “education is the first thing.” He added, “It’s education at the highest level.”
Washington Jr. will be a four-year starter for Oak Harbor once this season gets rolling, and he has received all-Western Conference recognition the past three winters. He was a second-team, all-league choice his freshman and sophomore years and a first-team selection last season after averaging nearly 19 points a game. Currently he is a starting receiver on the Wildcats’ undefeated and seventh-ranked football team.
Washington's father and high school coach, Mike Washington Sr., said, "I am happy with his choice. Although it’s far from home, it’s a great campus with great tradition...Mike wanted to go there from the start, and when we visited there, he just fell in love with everything it had to offer."
He added, "I think he will fit in...academically and on their basketball team. I can see him becoming a very good player in coach (Mitch) Henderson’s system. As a father, I am very happy that he is able to pursue his dream of playing in college, but going to Princeton makes it almost unbelievable. He started at an early age making academics his first priority and now it has paid off for him."
Washington Jr. said having “a lot of relatives in Maine” will help make it easier to move so far from home. He added, “It will be nice to get out on my own.”Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.