Bay Alum Deondrian Washington Making Instant Impact for the Commodores

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 5:50 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A hometown kid becomes a high school star then goes to his hometown college to grow his local legacy even more. That’s the journey Deondrian or “Tank” Washington is on, and he’s starting it pretty well.

“A lot of guys don’t make the adjust meant to college, they score 25 points a game in high school, and they aren’t able to rise up to the competition, but Tank’s done a great job and his work ethic is just a pleasure to be around”, said Gulf Coast Head Coach Phil Gaffney.

“It’s just really fun, it’s all I really wanted to do, I always wanted to play in front of my community, play college basketball, that was always a goal of mine. So, it’s been really fun you know, just getting it in with my teammates, working hard, learning from the sophomores and getting better”, said Washington.

And talent’s not the only reason Deondrian has been able to fit in so well. Coach says it’s because he has the intangibles you just can’t teach. Tank says it’s because he just feels like one of the boys.

“He’s great to be around, he’s a great teammate, he’s unselfish on the court. He’ll do, he’ll serve his teammates, he’s willing to do anything for anybody and to be honest with you, I haven’t seen him in a bad mood. He’s always positive, picking up his teammates. Everybody gets along with him really, really well”, said Gaffney.

“It’s not been hard at all. They’re all really cool, they’re all really funny so, and we all really like the same stuff so it’s kind of easy”, Washington remarked.

But don’t think we’re just sliding his ball skills under the rug. Tank has the talent and motivation to play in this league and be a top player while doing it.

“Uh, it’s just a lot more detail. Just knowing where I want to be in the next 1 to 2 years, that just gives me motivation and just like going harder, going harder.”

“In terms of performance, Tanks gotten better and better. From the beginning of the year to now, he’s gotten much stronger which is important for him. In high school, he was just so much bigger, so much more athletic and could get to the rack easily. Well, in college everybody’s got 6′9, 6′10′s inside so, we want to get him in attack mode, put up numbers, stuff the stat sheet. He can pass, give me some assist, you can score, give me some points. You’re a good rebounder, go get me some boards. That’s what we’re looking for, don’t just be happy to be here, be happy to go dominate.”

Dominate he has. In just his second college game, Deondrian put up 15 points and 5 rebounds. I’d say that made him pretty happy.