CSZ Exclusive Interview With George Washington III

Over the last handful of seasons, the Louisville basketball program has benefited from the contributions of local standouts. Since taking over as head coach, Chris Mack has brought in David Johnson (Trinity) and JJ Traynor (Bardstown); the formers looks to hear his name called in Thursday’s NBA Draft, while the latter fixes to have an increased role for the Cardinals this upcoming season. Looking forward, Mack is already preparing to continue the in-state pipeline in the 2023 recruiting cycle, which includes a handful of top national prospects that have seen their respective rankings soar. One of those recruits is Christian Academy of Louisville (CAL) combo guard George Washington III.

Washington’s recruitment blew up earlier in the summer, but it’s likely just getting started. The 6-foot-2 standout is ranked as the 44th-best prospect in the 2023 class (247Sports Composite), and the 10th-best at the combo-guard position. His strong play with JL3 Elite in the Nike AAU circuit turned a lot of heads and vaulted his stock through the roof.

The college coaches weren’t the only ones that came away impressed, however. The setting at the Peach Jam was eye-opening for Washington. “Seeing wall-to-wall full of coaches at the at Peach Jam was amazing”, he said. “I remember watching it on TV and YouTube and realizing that’s where I want to play.”

On the court, Washington utilizes an advanced offensive skillset along with an excellent feel for the game. As a three-level scorer, he is both an efficient shooter and finisher at the rim.

“I’d like to say what sets me apart from others is my communication”, Washington explained. “I’m a really social person, and that carries over to the court. My game is a mesh; I have a far range and love to shoot the ball. My handle and shot-creating ability, I draw inspiration from (Devin) Booker and (Jamal) Murray. I’m better at finishing than I have ever been.”

Washington possesses a great amount of skill, but his intangibles cannot be overlooked. His discipline and knowledge of the game stems partly from the coaching he’s received over the years. Outside of the respective team coaches, Washington receives a lot of great input from his father, George Washington II. The latter is a former University of Texas women’s basketball assistant/recruiting coordinator, and has been instrumental in his son’s understanding of the recruiting process.

“When I was younger I took the hard coaching and advice for granted”, Washington said. “Its a lot more “wow he knows what’s he talking about” now that it was back then. He’s just as passionate about the game as I am. When you’re doing something like this, it helps to have people on the outside-looking-in giving their opinions to help you grow.”

Louisville, Ohio State, Auburn, Western Kentucky, and Cincinnati have all offered Washington this summer; while others are beginning to show interest as well. His approach to recruiting is straight-forward: being honest at all turns.

“The main thing my dad and I have talked about is not to lead any schools on”, Washington explained. “Any school that has shown interest, I’ve let them know that there is interest reciprocated. I’m not trying to waste any schools’ time.”

As it pertains to Louisville, Washington can see himself playing in a Cardinal uniform. “The Louisville staff has been great”, he said. “I talk to coach (Kahil) Fennell and Coach Mack. They’ve been to almost every single one of the games. The staff has been watching since Collins tournament and my team went to the Louisville camp. I’ve been around them a lot.”

The recruiting process is just beginning for him, so Washington hasn’t identified any timelines/decisions. After he gets to know the respective coaching staffs and learn about the campuses, a game plan will be solidified. Washington will likely be one of the top targets in the 2023 cycle for the Cardinals along with Louisville Male star Kaleb Glenn. This is a recruitment that Louisville will be in to the very end.
Barring “something crazy and unforeseeable”, Washington plans to stay in Louisville and finish out his high school career at CAL. The family moved to the Derby City from Austin without knowing how long they’d be in the city, but have since begun to call it home.

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