University of Arkansas basketball recruit Michael Washington will play his senior season at Genesis One Christian School in Mendenhall, Miss.
Washington (6-10, 230), the former McGehee star who played at Cleveland (Texas) Heritage Christian last season, enrolled at Genesis One last weekend when the school opened back up after a clearn up for Hurricane Katrina.
"Michael just arrived here this past weekend and has begun practicing with us and it is clear to see he is a high level prospect with an amazing future," Genesis One head coach Victor Evans said. "He is a very big kid with a lot of skill that's going to be a great player for Arkansas. He's also a very polite, very classy young man."
Washington, who averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists last season for Heritage Christian, made the decision to move to Genesis One soon after Hurricane Rita came calling on the Gulf Coast.
Instead of being in Houston - some eight hours away from his parents in McGehee, he will now be just a scant three hours away.
"I think the fact that we are closer to his home and are a Christian school that stresses academics, discipline and faith was very appealing to him and his family," Evans said. "We are certainly happy to have him. We'll make sure everything is in order for him to be at Arkansas next year."
Washington - scheduled to take an official visit to Arkansas on Oct. 14-16 along with fellow UA commit Stefan Welsh and Memphis prep star Thad Young - is just one of the many basketball stars at Genesis One. In fact, there are so many they are going to have two teams this season.
"We had 11 seniors last season and all of them went on to sign college scholarships with seven of them signing Division I," Evans said. "We have 7 players coming back this season and have added a lot more so we are going to have as many as 14 or 15 Division I signees this year.
"We have so many great players they we made the decision to split things up into two teams - an Elite one and a Select one," Evans said. "Michael will play on the Elite team."
Washington and former Waldo standout Erik McKinney are Arkansans that will join an Elite squad that includes 6-3 guard Verice Cloyd of Nashville, Tenn., 6-5 Providence commit Saiquon Stone of Brooklyn, 6-11 Iowa State commit Kellen Lee, 5-9 Mark Hill of Los Angeles, 6-7 Rhode Island commit Delroy James and 6-3 junior Thomas Manzano of Brooklyn.
"We've had a lot of guys who have heard about what a good thing we have going here and wanted to be a part," Evans said. "We just had to make the decision to have two teams and I think it's going to work out great. Everybody will get the playing time they need to develop."
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