The Ballard Talisman

Seattle’s history of major basketball recruits

Washington state is a hot destination to pick up great basketball players

Ermias Hagos, Sports Editor

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When we talk about future basketball stars coming out of high school we don’t forget to mention Seattle. With its history of possessing great talent such as Michael Porter Jr. and Dejounte Murray and with the incredible leagues they have, its probable that more greatness is yet to arrive.

Since the beginning of basketball recruiting we have always seen great players come out of high school, dominate in college and become all-stars in the NBA. We see them come out of the East Coast, West Coast heck even from the Plains. However, sports fans have seen a trend recently of top players coming out of Washington. Former high school player Michael Porter Jr. for example recently graduated high school last year after averaging 37 ppg in his last year with the Nathan Hale Raiders. Take junior PJ Fuller, who currently plays for the Garfield Bulldogs and is 43rd in the ESPN top 100 class of 2019.

Clearly these two athletes are superior and dominate in their respective classes, but it isn’t just recent players. Going back a couple of years, Dejounte Murray who now plays for the San Antonio Spurs also came out of Washington. Coming from Rainier Beach High School, Murray put up decent numbers at the University of Washington to put him on the second team All-Pac 12. He now is the starting point guard for the Spurs.

Senior Kole Knutsen, who plays varsity for the basketball team, believes that Washington state is one of the top states to house bigtime recruits. But it’s not because of the leagues or teams they have. It’s because of the climate.

“I think it’s a good destination for recruits because it’s a city with a lot of rain,” Knutsen said. “You can only go so many places when it’s raining and the gym is one of them.”

Knutsen was not only conscious about Washington being a major destination for the next all stars but also had in mind other states in the country that have produced and continue to produce suburb athletes.

“New Jersey has lots of recruits with lots of athletic players there, and California has a lot of private schools that just go and play basketball, like Marvin Bagley III,” Knutsen said.

Without a doubt, the United States is in the hands of talented athletes. The fact that so many of these athletes end up going pro at such a young age shows the smooth transition from high school to college to the NBA. With such incredible leagues and programs that promote basketball to young people in school and in clubs, the game is growing at a staggering level and more possible recruits are being scouted daily. It seems as if every month we hear about an athlete being the ‘next big thing.’ Any athlete who grabs 20 rebounds is the next Shaquille O’Neal or any athlete who posts a triple double is the next Oscar Robertson.

Washington has been housing incredible players throughout the years as well as others. If schools continue to utilize their resources and promote the game, many more athletes could find their way to the pros.

 

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Seattle’s history of major basketball recruits