Washington Trip Report - Markelle Fultz

Washington is already off to a strong start for 2016 basketball recruiting, as they picked up a verbal commitment from 6-foot-10 New Zealand center Sam Timmons just before May. They are looking for a guard to run things, and one big target officially visited Montlake this past weekend.

Markelle Fultz, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard prospect from legendary Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, has been ordering lobster on all his official visits lately. With official visits already taken to Louisville and Arizona, there’s a decent chance he was able to find a crustacean or twelve during his latest official visit - to the University of Washington.

“It’s nice,” Fultz told Dawgman.com shortly after finishing his Washington official visit. It was his first time ever to Seattle. “I like it. It’s nice out here.”

Fultz got into town Friday, the same time a torrential rain storm hit the Emerald City. “That was me,” joked Fultz. “Everywhere I’ve bee going…I went to Tucson, Arizona and it started raining, so the rain’s been following me.

“It’s worse where I’m from back home. It’s like that all the time. They said it was hot until I got here.”

Fultz talked about the importance of having his Mom with him. “My Mom comes with me everywhere,” he said. “The only one I’ve got right now, her and my sister, so it’s good.”

So how did the Huskies and Fultz come together? “Coach (Lorenzo) Romar and Coach Chills (Raphael Chillious) have been recruiting me for a long time,” he said. “I have a real good relationship with them. I talk to them about more than basketball. I talk to them about classwork, just good advice. I’m out here taking my official visit and it’s one of the schools I’m looking forward to coming to. It’s been a blessing to have a coach I can talk to about other stuff more than basketball. I don’t have a father, so it’s been good.”

Fultz never played varsity early at DeMatha despite offers from some of the biggest programs in the country and a No. 22 ranking in the country and a five-star rating for 2016 by Scout.com. “So my sophomore year I played JV,” he said. “Coach said it best for me to improve and develop my game more, so I just took it as a learning experience and played JV. I became more versatile and it helped me a lot. And it got me ready for my junior season.”

His junior year, Fultz started every game last year at Dematha Catholic as and was the WCAC Player of the Year.

How would Fultz describe his game to someone that’s never seen him play live before? “Playmaker,” he said, matter-of-factly. “I don’t really have a position; I can play 1, 2 or 3. I just play hard, love to win. Versatile, play on both sides of the floor - offense and defense, and athletic and long.”

But in his opinion, what allows him to be a special player? “My humbleness and my playmaking ability,” Fultz said. “I think that’s what makes me special. A lot of kids like me aren’t humble and are very cocky, so me being humble - that makes me special.”

It’s actually incredible that a player could go from running junior varsity to earning scholarships from schools like Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Washington, Xavier, Georgetown, Kansas, Maryland, Miami (Fl), North Carolina, and Virginia Tech - but Fultz’s humility and upside have the best teams in the country looking in his direction. And to his credit, all the attention hasn’t gone to his head.

“It’s a blessing,” he said. “I’m a humble kid. I’m always open to doing what I can and speaking to coaches. It’s really been a blessing, and this process has been really good to me. I’m enjoying the process, like they told me to. It’s fun. I’ve been to a lot of places I’ve never been before and met a lot of people. I haven’t been home in about a month, that’s how long it’s been.”

Fultz’s Mother is one of the main reasons he’s able to stay grounded. “She’s tough,” he said. “I can’t describe how tough she is, but I like it.”

What was a highlight of the Washington visit? “I met a lot of people, like Baby Boy (host Dejounte Murray),” Fultz said. “I’ve met a lot of people over this whole summer, so it’s been good.”

Will Fultz take his last two official visits, or will he start to shut the process down after his Washington official visit? “As of right now I’m not sure,” he said. “I have to go home and sit down with my Mom and talk about recruiting. I might have to, but I’m not sure.”

Fultz said he’s looking for a college experience where his coach will be a mentor off the court and on the court. “Education-wise I want to be in accounting, so I want to see how the business schools are,” he said. “And playing time as a freshman, because I want to play - and style of play.”

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