Forward P.J. Washington knew would be heavily relied upon this season to keep Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in the hunt for a DICK’s Nationals berth. He was the Pilots’ top returnee and his father, Paul Sr., was entering his first year as coach.
“I love the game,” Washington said. “I don’t feel pressure, I just play.”
That simple approach has translated into a dominant, stat-stuffing season.
Washington is averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks a game for the Pilots, who are 30-3 and ranked No. 6 overall in the Super 25.
On Monday Washington, a Kentucky signee, was honored when the McDonald’s All American Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance stopped by Findlay Prep and presented him with his honorary game jersey for the McDonald’s All American Game, which tips March 29 at the United Center in Chicago.
“It’s a big honor for me to be able to have this jersey and to be a part of this game,” Washington said. “This has always been a goal of mine and to know that I’m actually going to be able to play in this game is so big for me. It just makes me want to work harder to keep accomplishing my goals.”
Last summer, Washington checked off another goal, helping the USA Men’s U18 National Team go 5-0 and win the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Valdivia, Chile. There he averaged 10 points and four rebounds a game.
Washington also led Team Penny (Tenn.) to the Peach Jam Final Four, pumping in 17.4 points and 11 rebounds a game and last season he averaged 16 points and nine rebounds a game for the Pilots, who made the DICK’s Nationals tournament.
“I’m never satisfied with what I’ve accomplished,” Washington said. “I’m just the type of player that always wants more. I want to win a national title in high school and that’s what I’m most focused on right now. When I get to Kentucky I want to win a national title too. I just always want to be going for more. That’s how you stay hungry.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY