The Coast News Group

Mission Hills’ Washington receives Butler offer

SAN MARCOS — It’s difficult to miss Warren Washington on the campus of Mission Hills High School.

Standing at 6-foot-11, he towers over his classmates and even his teammates on the Grizzlies varsity basketball team.

This spring, Washington is also starting to rise in the eyes of Division I college basketball coaches, garnering a scholarship offer from Butler University in Indiana, one of the top programs in the country.

Washington also has received scholarship offers from the University of Utah, University of California at Berkeley, San Diego State University and the University of California at Santa Barbara, among other schools.

He says the most recent offer, Butler, is symbolic of a shift in his recruitment.

“I think that it shows that the East Coast is looking at me, too,” Washington said. “It shows that I am getting noticed all around the country, and that is a pretty good feeling, but I know that I still have work to get done.

“I’m nowhere near where I think I can be, because the sky is the limit for me, but I know I have to work,” Washington said.

Washington has showcased his talent over the spring with his travel basketball team, Gamepoint, playing on the Adidas Uprising Gold Circuit with his 17u Gamepoint Pump and Run Team.

Through eight games on the circuit, Washington is averaging 7.6 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds, modest statistics to the untrained eye, but his AAU coach said that coaches are seeing more than just Washington’s scoring.

“An offer from a school like Butler, a top-25 school in the Big East, one of the most physical conferences in the country, says a lot about what his upside is,” Gamepoint Pump and Run Coach Charlie Mercado said. “He’s been working his butt off and getting stronger, and he’s been doing other things beyond scoring that the coaches are recognizing.

“One of the things that really stands out is his ability to move the ball and pass the ball,” Mercado said. “I think people are seeing that, in combination with his length and athleticism and his ability to run the floor, and they are responding in kind with offers.”

Washington, who plays center and power forward, said he felt that he had a solid spring travel ball season, and is looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead during the rest of the grassroots season, which extends to July.

One of his summer goals is to win the Adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finals, held in South Carolina July 12-15.

“I feel like I’ve done a better job playing harder and improving my all-around game, and I want to continue to improve on getting bigger and more physical on the block,” Washington said.

Washington said he wants to decide where he will attend school in coming months so that he can focus on achieving his primary goals back at Mission Hills: winning an Avocado East League championship, a CIF Section title and possibly a state championship.

“I definitely expect us to win,” he said.