St. Stanilaus (MS) junior Joshua Washington, 6-4, barely had time to unpack his bags before the phones started ringing. A delayed flight home from the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheaim, Germany gave way to a flood of recruiting inquiries.
Welcoming him home were coaches from Illinois, UConn, UMASS, Miami, Syracuse and several other top programs. His email account was also filled with correspondence from college coaches.
Washington, a good ball handler who has the ability to play close to the basket or step out for the three, was part of a 12-man contingent playing for the United States in Germany. Joining him were standouts such as J.R. Reynolds, Elliah Clarke, Ekene Ibekwe, Dane Bradshaw and Brandon Bowman.
The United States fell to defending champion Yugoslavia, 95-87, in the consolation round of the tournament on Saturday. It was the worst finish for the US team in the tournament since 1971.
Washington attributes the disappointing showing to the team's lack of chemistry.
"We didn't come together at the right times on the court," he said. "We had difficulty gelling."
Despite the fourth place finish, Washington was happy with the experience of playing abroad and took back some interesting insights.
"The culture is different," he said. "Smoking and drinking is open there. You see kids who are ten years old doing it. It blew my mind. The first thing I did is call my sister and say I don't want to see you doing anything like that."
The tightened security on the military base, the cultural differences, as well as the time spent away from family made Washington appreciate the things he has back home.
"I am more thankful for what I have," he said. "I love my family and the people we have over here."
Washington will continue to travel throughout the spring and summer, though he won't be traveling abroad. Rather, he will be touring the country en route to various camps and tournaments. He will also be taking the opportunity to visit many of the colleges that have been courting him.
Washington has an extensive list of schools at this time. Some of the schools that he mentions include Illinois, UConn, Harvard, Yale, UMass, Miami, SMU, Jackson State, Brown, Syracuse and Hampton.
Fans wishing to catch Washington in action this summer should mark their calendars for ABCD, Bob Gibbons and the Big Time Tournament. He has yet to solidify his AAU plans, so we will be sure to update you when a final decision is made.