Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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North Carolina lands 5-star big man Jalen Washington
By ADAM ZAGORIA
New North Carolina coach Hubert Davis continued his recruiting roll Friday by adding Jalen Washington, the 6-foot-9 center from Gary (IN) West Side and the Mean Streets AAU program.
Ranked the No. 4 center in the Class of 2022 per 247Sports.com, Washington has taken visits to UNC, Stanford and Purdue.
“I believe his skillset as far as his ability to shoot is his biggest attribute,” said Meanstreets coach Sean Smith. “He’s 6-9 with a 7-4 wingspan. Just being that tall and being able to shoot the ball as fluid as he does off the dribble and off the catch, I think that’s a big attribute for him and I think it’s one of his best features.
“He’s also a great play-maker, he can create for others and has great court vision. I think you don’t see that as much in longer guys. He’s a basketball player, he moves with others. He’s not just out there being a volume shooter, he’s a real student of the game.”
Washington received his UNC offer May 2, and Tweeted his enthusiasm.
Washington joins four-star guard Seth Trimble and three-star center Will Shaver in UNC’s 2022 class. Zion Cruz, the five-star combo guard from The Patrick School and PSA Cardinals, is also expected to take a visit soon to Chapel Hill after earning an offer on Tuesday, his father said. UNC also just landed Marquette transfer Dawson Garcia for the 2021-22 season.
As for UNC’s pitch to Washington, Smith said, “They really loved his versatility. They just loved the fact that he was a versatile player.”
In terms of Washington as a person, Smith, who has trained and worked with him since he was younger, added: “He’s a winner, he’s a serious player. He’s always been a good character kid. He really takes value in his teammates and he’s just a good guy.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.