LAS VEGAS –
Don't expect a big weekend at the LeBron James Skills Academy to leave Kyle Washington
with an inflated ego.
Thoughtful, polite, soft-spoken and really
athletic, the 6-foot-8 forward is focused on pushing forward after impact-filled performances in a field of heavy hitters at the King James camp.
"I think I'm getting better every day," Washington said. "I think I have to keep working on a few things, like getting back (defensively) every time and taking my time on the offensive end and being patient. Once I start doing that, then everything will start clicking."
A native of Minnesota and rising senior at Hotchkiss (Lakeville, Conn.)
, Washington's hustle was rewarded often with easy buckets after beating the pack back to the offensive end. He was effective on the offensive boards and can block shots.
Washington is yet another young prospect playing away from home after leaving Benilde-St. Margaret's (St. Louis Park, Minn.)
for the prep program at Hotchkiss in the fall of 2011.
"I think it was time for me to kind of be seen on the national stage a little bit more," Washington said.
Washington is avoiding naming schools out of respect of for those involved, but he has a plan to address that.
"I'm going to release my list soon. At the end of the summer, narrow it down to five and take my official visits during the fall," said Washington, who added that he plans to sign during the early period in November.
After checking in on the guards Sunday, we shift gears to more on the post players on the final day of action from Las Vegas;
* Outside of perhaps Julius Randle
, Chris Walker
of tiny Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.)
was the most athletically explosive big man in the building. At 6-9 and around 210 pounds, Walker did nothing to diminish his standing as the No. 6 overall prospect in the Class of 2013. His camp team didn't experience a whole lot of success but he put the goods on display. Nothing new on the recruiting front for Walker – Baylor, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State are the key players.
* Torren Jones
was another active forward who made an impression with hustle plays. The 6-8 rising senior is transferring from Basha (Chandler, Ariz.)
to nearby Dobson (Mesa)
in the fall, where he will join Arizona State commitment Kodi Justice
. Oregon, Washington and Washington State stand out to Jones with Colorado, DePaul, New Mexico, UTEPand Wyoming also making a push.
* After stealing the show among the three Class of 2015 prospects in attendance, Ivan Rabb
has already been proclaimed No. 1 player in the class by Oakland Soldiers teammate Jabari Bird
via Twitter. That's solid support from a teammate, but most will reserve judgment on that for now – though he was certainly impressive.
"I didn't know how many freshmen were going to be here. I guess there is only three, so now that I think about it, it's pretty big," Rabb said of his Skills Academy experience. "Seeing LeBron here to come support us, that was big. The whole USA team came out here to watch us play and that kind of motivated me more."
He was actually matched up against Bird in a Sunday contest and got a bucket or two in on his fellow Bay Area star. In fact, the near-6-9 forward got buckets on a lot of campers in Las Vegas. He engaged in a clear-the-floor, one-on-one duel with 6-9, 250-pound 2015 center Diamond Stone in a consolation game and got the best of that matchup – though it was primarily for the entertainment for the older prospects on the floor.
Arizona and California have already extended offers to the Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
rising sophomore. A host of other schools are expressing interest.Look for the All-LeBron James Skill Academy Team later this week.