Richard Pitino added a pair of guards to his 2017 basketball recruiting class with four-star point guard Isaiah Washington and three-star guard Jamir Harris signing national letters of intent Thursday.
Pitino described Harris as a really good 3-point shooter, but it's Washington's story that's very compelling. At 6-foot-1, Washington is considered the best player in New York City.
"He’s the best New York City point guard since Kemba Walker," an unnamed Division I coach recruiting him told the New York Post. "He’s a totally under-appreciated player [nationally]. He does not like basketball. He loves basketball. He eats, sleeps, poops basketball."
Kemba Walker, if you don't know, led UCONN to a national championship and he's the leading scorer for the Michael Jordan-owned Charlotte Hornets right now.
"I'm underrated right now because everybody is putting all these other guards ahead of me," Washington said in a Home Team Hoops Youtube video. "But I know I'm better than them. Once I get a chance to play over them, then the truth will come out.
The New York Post said Washington held his own in a summer matchup against the No. 1 point guard recruit in the country, Trevon Duval.
From the projects
He's not just a New York City point guard. He's a basketball player from the Lincoln Projects in Harlem.
"Going outside every day, drug deal on every corner. Lot of violence, guns, robberies ... all that stuff," Washington explains in the Youtube video. "I just stay away from that stuff. When I'm not playing basketball I'm in the house ... doing some homework, playing a video game or just working out."
Pitino's top target
“From day one, we set out to get Isaiah as our point guard, and we are excited that we did that,” said Pitino in a statement. “He is a dynamic player, loves the game, and is a lot of fun to watch on the court."
Washington was highly recruited by Seton Hall – the same school that 2016 NBA second-round pick and former Harlem prep star Isaiah Whitehead attended – but Washington picked the Gophers thanks to four years of hard recruiting.
"That program is really good," Washington said of Minnesota, according to Scout. "They have been recruiting me very hard since my freshman year. They are showing me a lot of love and I appreciate it a lot."
Pitino expects Washington to make an "immediate impact" next season.
Washington turned down offers to play his upcoming senior season at major prep schools. One of the schools the Post says he turned down is Findlay Prep. That's where former Robbinsdale Cooper (Minneapolis area) star Rashad Vaughn, now with the Milwaukee Bucks, played his senior year.