By LARRY VAUGHT
Sherry Washington is very proud of what her son, Kentucky signee P.J. Washington, has done to get himself in position to play at UK.
“He set out and wrote his goals down, which is hard to get a teen-age boy to do. He has accomplished those goals. I was just telling him a few weeks ago that now I need you to make a new set of goals,” Sherry Washington said. “Obviously writing them down and having that vision makes you work harder. I don’t want him to think he has made it.”
Sherry Washington, an assistant high school basketball coach in Las Vegas, tried to let her son and her husband — Paul who coached P.J. at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas — weigh his college options.
“I tried to stay out of it a lot. I let him and his dad do most of that. My biggest thing was that was it was his decision. He is the one who has to get out there and run and listen to the coach,” she said. “I know it was hard, but we really had to sit back and support him no matter what. But I am excited. I can’t wait for next year.”
His father, a former college player, has worked with P.J. on a variety of things, including his perimeter shooting. But he has plenty of other skills to make him one of the most versatile players in the 2017 recruiting class. He led Findlay Prep, a national power, in scoring, rebounding and assists.
“He has a 7-2 wingspan and is really a tough kid. He goes after those loose balls and once he gets it, you do not take it out of his hands,” Paul Washington said. “Put a taller kid on him and he goes by them. He leads our team in assists. He has really good court vision and instincts with the ball.”
Because P.J. Washington did so much for his team, his father tried to make sure he did not wear him out and looked for ways to rest him.
“He is the kind of kid that has a lot of energy, so we had to make sure we get him some rest. We had to strategically pick times to ease up. Toward the end of the season I would give him a couple of days at a time to sit out in practice and rest his body because he gives you so much when that ball goes up,” Paul Washington said.