Upshaw is headed to Montlake (Updated)
"I committed to the University of Washington," Upshaw told Dawgman.com Tuesday morning. "I decided yesterday but let the coaches know this morning. I talked to all four coaches. Everybody was excited and I'm already in the process of moving and getting ready to go to Seattle."
Upshaw picked the Huskies over Oregon, who got a visit from the Fresno State transfer but still chose UW. He's expected to be in Seattle sometime next week.
"It was a really great trip, really great hospitality, really great people, great environment…it was a great trip," Upshaw said of his visit to Eugene, adding that nothing really stood out for him on the visit. "I knew what to expect. When you think of Oregon, you think of nice facilities, Oregon Football and Basketball - it's a really great place."
Upshaw was dismissed from Fresno State during the summer after a third violation of athletic department policy. As a freshman last year, Upshaw (7'0", 250) averaged 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds. He will arrive at Washington in a few weeks to begin classes, but will have to reshirt this fall/winter due to NCAA transfer rules. Beginning in 2014, Upshaw will have three years to play three for the Huskies.
"It's going to be great," Upshaw said of the time away from the court while sitting out his mandatory transfer season. "I get to do everything but play. I still get to be a part of the team and I still get to work out. I still go to every event they're at. I can't travel but in that time I can focus on my academics and try to get as far ahead in my education as possible. Who knows where this game is going to take me…it can take me to the NBA or make me some money. I want the education to fall back on. They have things set up for me already so I'm focused academically. I'm going to be taken care of, I'm going to have tutors…it's a really great situation for me to be put into."
As a prep at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, California, Upshaw was a highly recruited prospect with offers from Fresno State, Georgetown and Louisville.
So why did Upshaw end up choosing Washington over Oregon? "My relationship with coach (Lorenzo) Romar," he said. "He's a really great coach. I've always felt good about Washington Basketball. I just think it's what best fit me and my situation and where I'm trying to go. I told myself, 'This time around nobody is going to make this decision but myself'. I just really felt comfortable and felt like this was the place I needed to be, so I'm heading up to Seattle to start a new chapter."
Upshaw also said his family is sticking behind the choice to move to Montlake after a turbulent time in Fresno. "My family was very accepting of the decision," he said. "The situation I put myself in at Fresno State was a bad situation and I made bad choices, but they stuck with me and they are happy that I got a second chance."
Upshaw already has something he wants to say to the UW Basketball Community. "I just don't want the Husky fans to underestimate who I am of try to label me as a person," he said. "I just want them to know that I'm here, I'm a part of Husky Basketball and I look forward to being a part of the community and the school community and I hope they give me a second chance to redeem myself."
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