By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky signee P.J. Washington will be playing two games in western Kentucky in about two months.
A source confirmed that Findlay Prep of Las Vegas will play in western Kentucky Feb. 17 and Feb. 18. It will be the only time this season that the 6-8 Washington plays in Kentucky.
Washington is considered one of the best, if not the best, rebounders in the 2016 recruiting class. He chose UK over North Carolina and Nevada-Las Vegas. He has a 7-3 wing span which helps make him such a dominant rebounder. Washington is a consensus top 20 player and five-star prospect.
His father, Paul Washington, is his coach at Findlay Prep. Paul Washington lived in Kentucky and his son was born in Louisville.
His father describes him as a “positionless” player, the kind of player UK coach Calipari likes to have on his team.
“He can kind of do a lot of things,” Paul Washington said. “He can guard from 1 (point guard) through 4 (power forward) or 5 (center). He fits in where you need him at the time.
“For Team USA and at his previous high school, he played power forward. He is more like Draymond Green (of the Golden State Warriors) where he can kind of do it all.”
P.J. Washington is averaging 17.7 points per game — best on the team — this season and is shooting 57 percent from the field. He also averages 9.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.2 blocked shots and 1.4 steals per game. All those numbers are up from last season.
Alabama signee John Petty, a former UK recruiting target, says Washington is one of the best power forwards in the country.
“He can just do so many things on the court. He has a great feel for the game. He’s tough to stop,” Petty, a wing player from Alabama, said. “His strength and his mind for the game are his strengths. He can see the floor very well. He is not only a power forward, but he can actually shoot the ball and he can handle the ball kind of well. He just has a great mind, vision and IQ.”
UT-Martin coach Anthony Stewart had a son play on the same AAU team as Washington. The coach called him “awesome” because of all he does.
“Unless you know him, you wouldn’t know it but he is an unbelievable kid. Gracious, humble. Comes from an impressive family. I have met his mother and father. That is what impressed me about him. Kids like that get so much praise but they are humble and good people. He is ‘Yes sir. No sir. Thank you.’ He is a class act from class family. He is kid you love to coach and he is a great player,” Stewart said.
More information on who Findlay Prep will play and what other teams might be involved in the Feb. 17-18 showcase should be announced soon.