Basketball prospect watch: Isaiah Washington

by Darren Collins

Isaiah Washington is a six-foot junior point guard for Saint Raymond’s Academy in the Bronx, New York. He’s also one of the best floor generals in his age division.

Isaiah Washington’s passing vision is just as good as his scoring ability. He can see passing lanes before they develop, which allows him to get the ball to his teammates accurately and on time. He’s able to set his teammates up with high percentage shots, and has the basketball IQ to know when to drive and kick out when necessary.Washington is a natural scorer, partly thanks to his agility and lengthy wingspan. He’s at his most dangerous in transition, where beyond-his-years craftiness allows him to attack the basket in a number of ways. He’s not afraid of contact, and can go right into the paint to draw a foul. Last but not least, Washington’s nearly un-guardable crossover lets him get to the basket with ease–and he always seems to finish with flair.Washington Pangos All Stars

Growing up in the same Harlem neighborhood as Washington, I’ve been lucky enough to watch him develop as a player. From a young age, Washington displayed his talent and love for the game; he would literally be outside for hours a day, shooting around and practicing.  I remember playing one-on-one games against him when he was about 8 years old, and if someone had told me then that he’d go on to be a Division I player, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Isaiah Washington is still developing as a player and a person. He can be cocky at times, and his edgy competitive nature can be a double-edged sword. He could use some work on defense as he’ only average in that regard. Lastly, he can be a tad too flashy: once in a while he’ll misfire while trying a no-look or behind-the-back pass that isn’t exactly necessary. Of course, he still has a ton of time to mature and reach his potential as an elite player.

This summer I was able to watch Isaiah play in a local Harlem tournament called the Smart Ball Classic. Although St. Raymond’s lost decisively, Washington managed to score 27 points and show why he’s often the best player on the court. Isaiah is currently listed as a 3-star recruit, and he has scholarship offers from Indiana, St. John’s, Cincinnati, and Minnesota among others.

Isaiah Washington is looking to increase his stock in the coming year. His potential is off the charts, and his skills will translate well to the Division 1 level.

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