The first commit in Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class is accruing no shortage of experience playing alongside Buckeye State natives and potential future teammates this spring and summer.
George Washington III, a Texas native who played his junior year of high school basketball at Kentucky’s Christian Academy of Louisville, will spend his final season in Ohio. Washington’s father, longtime Texas women’s basketball assistant George Washington II, accepted a new position on the women’s basketball staff at Dayton this offseason, which means his son will now play closer to his future college as a high school senior.
But before Washington even selected a school in Ohio, the four-star combo guard and No. 46 overall prospect in the country – who committed to the Buckeyes back in November – opted to join forces with the All-Ohio Red 17U AAU program, switching allegiances from his previous squad at JL3 Elite. The team, which features multiple other Ohio State targets in the 2023 class, has already played in two EYBL sessions ahead of this summer’s Peach Jam event, and has split the eight games it has played thus far.
Eleven Warriors caught up with Washington midway through the second EYBL session in Indianapolis from April 22-24, at which point All-Ohio Red had gotten off to a 2-0 start behind impressive performances from both Washington and Pickerington Central’s Devin Royal. The Buckeye commit and 2023 Ohio State target finished the three-day event as the scoring leaders for All-Ohio Red; Washington averaged 16 points and Royal put up 15.5 per game across four games at the Pacers Athletic Center.
It was Royal who helped recruit Washington to All-Ohio Red, and now, the future Buckeye floor general is trying to recruit Royal (the No. 86 prospect in the country and No. 4-rated player in Ohio) to join him in scarlet and gray.
In his Q&A with Eleven Warriors, Washington also detailed his timetable for choosing where he’ll play his senior year and his relationship with fellow 2023 Buckeye commit Austin Parks, among other topics.
This interview has been edited slightly for clarity.
Q: How is the EYBL circuit going so far, and how do you feel like you guys are performing?
George Washington III: I think it’s going really well. Coming out of last week, we kind of always felt that we should’ve performed a little better, so it’s great to see us jump out and have a good start. We still have two more games to take care of, though.
Q: Since Devin Royal recruited you to join All-Ohio Red after you left JL3 Elite, will you try to recruit him to join you at Ohio State?
Washington: I mean yeah, I think that’s like the fair deal. I think it’s the only way to even things out.
Q: Have you decided where you will play high school basketball in Ohio this year?
Washington: No sir.
Q: Are you visiting schools now, and what is your timeline for making a decision?
Washington: Right now it’s just kind of feeling things out. We’re gonna really get into that around June, Juneish. Get up and see a few schools, get a good feel for them. But right now we’re just kind of playing it cool and focusing on the summer, basketball.
Q: What has the chemistry been like with All-Ohio Red both on the court and off, given that it is your first year playing with this new team?
Washington: It’s been great. It’s a great group of guys. It’s crazy to me how I was just kind of thrown in, and like from day one we just kind of all clicked and flowed together real well. That’s not normal. I think we got a special group here.
Q: Have you talked with Devin and fellow All-Ohio Red teammates (and 2023 Buckeye targets) Dailyn Swain and Lawrent Rice about what it would be like to play at Ohio State? What have those conversations been like?
Washington: I think I’m trying to get it where we all talk about playing together a little more. It’d be great to be the All-Ohio Buckeyes.
Nice assist here from OSU commit George Washington III to Lawrent Rice: pic.twitter.com/iHh0BCRQJJ— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) April 23, 2022
Q: What has your relationship been like with Austin Parks (Ohio State’s second 2023 commit and the No. 90 prospect in the class) since he joined the fold in February?
Washington: I love Austin. I’ve been on a few visits with him, he’s a great kid and I’m excited to get with him. He’s gonna do big things. I’ve already texted him and told him I’m just excited for that duo, pick and roll when we get up there.
Q: Have you been working on recruiting other prospects in the 2023 class, and if so, which players have you been keyed in on?
Washington: I mean yeah, a few. I try to stay in contact with them about that as much as possible, just try to keep in other people’s ears.
Q: Do you think Ohio State is the leader in the pack when it comes to Devin’s recruitment?
Washington: He’s pretty close-mouthed about that, he likes to keep his cards close to his chest. But I’m trying.