Kyle Washington, a 6-foot-9 junior who transferred from St. Louis Park (MN) Benilde St. Margaret’s to Lakeville (CT) Hotchkiss this past year, is back in the Twin Cities this weekend to play for the Howard Pulley AAU program. GopherHole.com caught up with Washington Friday evening to learn the latest on his recruitment, his AAU plans and the year spent at prep school.
Washington has picked many major basketball offers since being reclassified as a member of the Class of 2013. He comes from a basketball family. His father, Curtis, played at St. Thomas Aquinas in New York. He was named All-Met Division II Player of the Year in 1986.
Washington has received offers from schools such as Baylor, Florida, Louisville, Washington, Notre Dame, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Miami, West Virginia, Drake, Iowa State, Marquette, Penn State, Wisconsin and Xavier.
Gopher Hole: How was the season at Hotchkiss?
Kyle Washington: It was pretty good. I was in a new role. I was in a leadership role, so I had to play hard every day or my team was probably going to lose. I got to learn from that and be a team leader.
Gopher Hole: What was your team’s record?
Kyle Washington: It was 13-10. We started off pretty rough, but we went on an eleven game-winning streak, so we got good.
Gopher Hole: What did you end up averaging?
Kyle Washington: 15 (points), 10 (rebounds) and 5 blocked shots). Our whole starting five averaged a double-double. We had a good team. Austin Coubert (who is playing in the EYBL for Team Final) plays on the team with me. I have made great friends with him.
Gopher Hole: What was the experience like away from the court?
Kyle Washington: It was good. Academically, Hotchkiss is an extremely hard school and off the court, you have a lot of time to lift weights and stay in the gym. That worked out very well.
Gopher Hole: It looks like you got a bigger?
Kyle Washington: I was just in the weight room all year, all season. I weight 215. Last year, I was 195.
Gopher Hole: What things have you really been working on to continue to improve yourself as a player?
Kyle Washington: Just going hard every time, using that motor. A lot of people don’t have that these days. Playing smart and being a smart player. Taking my rime in the post. Really having composure in there. Not fading away from my shots. That is the big thing.
Gopher Hole: What is your date of birth?
Kyle Washington: August 18th 1993. I turned 18 before this year, so I couldn’t play (in the EYBL). I am playing tomorrow. I’ll be at Eastview High School, so I am just going to play hard. It was good to support my team (he sat on the team during Pulley’s 88-77 win over the Georgia Stars). I’ll be with them in July. It was great to see Coach Love. It was great to see everyone.
Gopher Hole: So you can play in July?
Kyle Washington: I can play in July in other events. I can’t play in the EYBL.
Gopher Hole: Is that kind of tough?
Kyle Washington: It is. I was hoping to play, but I still get to go to all the camps, so that will be pretty fun. It is tough, though, because you come here and the atmosphere is great playing in front of your home fans. I am just so happy for Rene (Pulley) that he got EYBL here.
Gopher Hole: What is the latest on your recruitment right now?
Kyle Washington: Nothing right now. I am just trying to figure out a top ten.
Gopher Hole: How many offers are you up to?
Kyle Washington: 16.
Gopher Hole: What are you hearing from the Gophers?
Kyle Washington: I’m hearing that they would like me 2012 or 2013. I have a great relationship with the coaches. It would be at home and I know everybody. I know Joe (Coleman). I know Rodney (Williams). I know the people coming in next year and I know what Tubby is all about, so it will be exciting. I just have to keep on taking visits.
Gopher Hole: Is there any way you could be a 2012?
Kyle Washington: Maybe, perhaps. I don’t know. We just have to wait and see how the summer goes.
Gopher Hole: What would you need to do?
Kyle Washington: I don’t know. Just be ready to make a college decision, but I don’t want to rush it.
Gopher Hole: Who are some of the other main schools that you are hearing from the most?
Kyle Washington: Just from everybody. It has been balanced. I don’t want to name any schools and leave anyone out, so it has been everybody pretty much.