clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

George Washington III expands on OSU decommitment, why he chose Michigan

Washington said Michigan “felt like home to him.”

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Joseph Scheller/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan basketball’s 2023 recruiting class features one player, but he’s incredibly talented and should contribute for the Wolverines sooner rather than later.

George Washington III, a four-star shooting guard on 247Sports’ composite, is rated the 92nd-best player in his class, as well as the 13th-best shooting guard and the fourth-best recruit from Ohio.

Washington did earn a few accolades his senior season with Chaminade Julienne in Dayton, Ohio. He led the Eagles to a district title, was named First Team All-Southwest Ohio, Division II Player of the Year, and was honored as the 2022-2023 Gatorade Ohio Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Washington was originally committed to be an Ohio State Buckeye for nine months, but decommitted and now will be playing in Ann Arbor.

In a Twitter Space on Sunday afternoon, Washington expanded on his recruiting process.

“It was honestly crazy,” Washington said. “It took a lot of deciding and prayer to think about making that decision itself. After making it, I almost had to flip on the switch and say, ‘Okay, now I have to back to everything I looked for before and go through this whole process. I had to be a lot more selective and specific, especially knowing the kind of situation I was looking for.”

When you see Washington play, you can see he talks a lot, providing energy for his team. Much like some former Michigan standouts like Mo Wagner and Hunter Dickinson, he seems content being the antagonist when it comes to decommitting from OSU and joining its arch rival.

“Anyone who has watched me play can tell you I always love being that villian, kind of being that character in situations,” Washington said. “After I thought about everything that comes with making that flip, I thought this is just going to make the rivalry that much more fun and that much more enjoyable.”

Washington also detailed the exact moment when he told head coach Juwan Howard he was coming to Michigan when he was visiting Ann Arbor with his father.

“It was actually in the film room,” Washington said. “(We were going over) style of play and that kind of talk, and we were going through it a second time because my dad wasn’t there on the official visit. The second time I was on campus, I had known I was going to commit. But we were going over it and he was talking to us about the way we play and he was explaining it to my dad. He looked at me and was like, ‘Did you get everything this time? Does that all make sense?’ And I just said ‘I think I got it all, and anything I don’t get, I could just pick up next year in practice from you’.’ That was a fun way to break the news.”

Washington said he and his family had a meeting about what locations will help be successful, both on and off the court.

The young guard fell in love with the city of Ann Arbor on visits and feels like he can succeed academically at Michigan. In terms of places he could make a positive impact, Washington knew after that talk that Michigan was home for him.

“It felt like family every time I was there,” Washington said. “First time talking to coaches, we immediately clicked. They were people I could immediately trust. It’s a coaching staff that knows what they’re talking about, I clicked with them. The players, you could tell from a practice they all enjoyed being there. They competed, they’re going at each other’s heads, and they’re enjoying it. I just love that, cause it speaks to the way I approach the game in general.”

The Dayton native joins the team on June 24. He feels comfortable about learning Michigan’s offense and mentioned he got some tips from a standout guard who led the Wolverines for years.

“From watching practices, I was able to pick up a good deal of what they run,” Washington said. “My brother’s coach, his son is Zavier Simpson. Me and him were going back and forth about stuff they run, I’ve had some time to be familiar with their offense and that system.”

Simpson is the only former player Washington has gotten a chance to speak to at length, but he said he clicked with a lot of the current players on visits.

When asked by a fan in the space how he feels about the current roster, Washington thinks the pieces can fit really well together. Based on the make-up on the current roster, there will be plenty of opportunities for him to contribute, especially after Caleb Love’s decommitment.

“I feel really good about it,” Washington said. “The guys we brought are going to be really big pieces. Just as a team, I feel like skillset wise and playing-style wise, we’ll be able to play off of each other. It’s a really good situation for all of us to benefit and succeed playing off of each other.”

Washington comes from a basketball family: his dad is an assistant coach with Dayton University’s women’s team, his sister is playing professionally in Spain, and he played with his two little brothers this past high school season.

He loved seeing his brothers improve throughout the season, and said games growing up with them got pretty competitive. He claims he’s the best out of the Washington siblings — for now.

“I still have scars and on my back from one-on-one games and King of the Courts,” Washington said, chuckling. “Even to this day, we can’t play a game after a workout without some kind of fight. We don’t want to lose to each other, and it’s always been like that.”