Basketball Pipeline From Seattle to LA? Why Can't Washington Schools keep Players In State? UW Needs To Get Back To the I.T. Years
By: Alex Sommerfield
Something that’s not shocking, top high school players wanting to play college basketball. Another thing that’s not shocking, high school kids from Washington wanting to go to school in Los Angeles.
During this summer we’ve seen Rainier Beach High School phenom Kevin Porter commit to USC and Garfield via Seattle Prep big man J’Raan Brooks do the same. More recently PJ Fuller decided to transfer (again) to Mater Dei, a high school not to far from Los Angeles, from Nathan Hale via Garfield.
We’ve seen this happen before. Glorified high jumper Zach LaVine chose to attend UCLA once he graduated from Bothell High School. Josh Smith from Kentwood before him, until his time flamed out at UCLA and he transferred to Georgetown. Plus, this last year we saw Shaqquan Aaron suit up for USC after sitting out a year because of a transfer from Louisville and sketchy guy Rick Pitino.
So is there a pipeline from Seattle to LA? I guess you could say that. It’s not a bad choice. Smith had a short stint in the NBA, LaVine is still going strong in the league, and Aaron put his name in the draft this summer before deciding to head back to school. These young Seattle hoopers see those who came before them go to LA schools and be successful, that has to be quite a selling point for them.
Maybe this has turned in to more of a jab at Washington, Seattle U, and Washington State for not being able to keep high quality talent in state. They all have a few. UW has Matisse Thybulle (Eastside Catholic) and David Crisp (Rainier Beach). Wazzu had Josh Hawkinson (Shorewood) last season and they’ve gotten better at securing the good in state talent recently with the addition of Malachi Flynn (Bellermaine), Viont’e Daniels (Federal Way), and Robert Franks (Evergreen). It is a little bit for difficult for Seattle U to do this being a private school and all. In recent history Seattle U has only had a hand full, Isiah Umipig (Federal Way), Malik Montoya (Federal Way), and Manny Chibuogwu (Shorecrest) to name a few. But really none of those are the best players in their recruiting class, good role players but you need more, Washington needs to keep the best talent in the state where they are, don’t let them go to these California schools.
There is so much talent basketball talent if you go up and down I-5 from Lynden to Vancouver, especially from Seattle to Tacoma. Washington schools should not have to do this much out sourcing to find talent when there’s plenty right where they are.
I know UW wants to build a wall around New York recruiting wise because that’s where the new coach is from. But if you really want to get the town buzzing again you get guys to stay home.
Yes, UW got Dejounte Murray to stay home a few years ago and Jaylen Nowell has decided to stay home as well but they lost Daejon Davis in the process who left for Stanford after originally committing to UW.
I guess we can’t leave Eastern Washington out of this argument either. But they actually do a pretty good job at keeping Washington guys in state. 7 players on their roster are from Washington so good job Eastern you get a pass. We will give Wazzu a slight pass just because sometimes it seems like another state once you pass over the mountains.
So really this is a message to the University of Washington, starting getting guys to stay home. Do it with home ground talent. You have to get the big Seattle names and you’ve got to get them to stay for more than one year.
The last time Washington made the tournament was with home town hero Isaiah Thomas. That’s what UW needs to get back to. They already missed out on Erik Stevenson, a class of 2018 recruit who committed to Wichita State. (Michael Porter doesn’t count because that a whole different story but I guess he did technically stay home).
Maybe this new coaching regime will be able to succeed without too many Washington guys. Or maybe Jaylen Nowell or Nate Pryor is the next Isaiah Thomas for UW.
If UW, Seattle U, Wazzu, and Eastern were all able to keep the in state guys in state, they would be unstoppable. The state of Washington produces the best basketball players, not LA but they all seem to want to go there.
Get the town buzzing like when Brandon Roy and Nate Rob were there, that’s what UW’s goal should be.
So is there a pipeline to LA from Seattle? Yeah, but there shouldn’t be.