Washington helping to lead Bay basketball team to big season
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -”Just my like, love for the game. I just love doing it, it just makes me happy really.” Those the words of Bay senior Deondrian Washington, who may be one of the panhandle’s best players this season. Bay is 6-2, and in the 5 games Deondrian has played in, he’s averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks per game.
His playing at a high level though wasn’t always the evaluation for the 6-6 guard.
t change ”Coming into high school he was not, by far, one of the best players but the switch turned on, he decided to work, and as he’s seen some success, I think that began to drive him.” Coach said Washington just began to work, early mornings, late nights, complete focus and it lead to a pretty common theme. “During quarantine, (during the pandemic) I had nothing to do so I would just work out a lot.” Washington said. And that helped transform the athlete and his work habits, says coach Cook. “More confident. Lifting weights, the more you can lift, the more confident. So that process has made him more confident in who he is.” Washington agreed with that saying “I’m just confident, I’m confident in everybody I’m on the floor with. I feel like I can just play with anybody. Anyone of the 15 that’s on my team.” That confidence has done nothing but make him one of, if not the most valuable players for the Tornadoes because he can basically do anything, says Cook. “He’s an important piece for us because he does a lot of things well. We’ve got a lot of players that can score, but can you defend, can you rebound, are you a good teammate, do you make the players around you better?” With the wide range of skills Deondrian has been able to develop, he traveled to multiple camps this past summer hoping, he says, his name would become a little more household.“Getting a lot of exposure, playing around the best players and just getting better and improving my game. Just really wanting to pick up more college interest.” As a senior who’s been in Cook’s system since middle school, Deondrian is looking to step up and lead this team but he’s doing it through his actions. “Just being a leader on and off the court. Just encouraging my teammates and keeping them up.” Adds coach Cook “You know more by example, in school, the way he handles himself in the classroom, it’s just a great example to follow.” Washington says he knows the talk of his talent and that of the team’s will bring some pretty high expectations for this year. That won’t change his M.O. won’t change, he’ll just put his head down and go to work.
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