Duane Washington, Jr. has been a blessing to the Grand Rapids Christian school community the past few years through his service, his attitude, his personality, and his work ethic. Steve Kaminski of mlive.com recently interviewed Duane about his decision to move to California. See the article directly quoted below. We are proud of Duane and wish him the best moving forward!
The 6-foot-3 point guard has a 31 scholarship offers, including one from the University of Michigan. He will play his senior year at Sierra Canyon, which is located in the Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth, Calif.
Washington is the nephew of five-time National Basketball Association champion Derek Fisher, and he headed out to California this summer to work in Fisher’s basketball camp. That’s what got the ball rolling for the transfer. Washington plans to live with his uncle and attend Sierra Canyon.
“A lot of people are saying that I’m going to a prep school, that I’m going prep,” Washington said. “That’s not at all the case. I love Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Christian and all that they have done for me. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for all that they have done for me. For me, leaving has nothing to do with the school.
“There was just no way that I could pass up an opportunity that few people get. I get to go live with a five-time NBA champion who spent 20 years in the NBA and have him pour all of that knowledge into me. I’m going to soak it all up like a sponge. I can’t pass it up. I don’t want to look back on it in a few years and regret it.”
Washington was born in Germany and raised in Grand Rapids. He was a starter on a Christian team that advanced to the Class A state championship game this winter, where the Eagles lost to Clarkston, 75-69. He averaged over 13 points and nearly five assists per game.
Sierra Canyon has rolled up a 125-27 record over the past six seasons combined, has won a state championship and four-straight Gold Coast League titles. The team plays a national schedule and was ranked No. 1 in country at one point last year by MaxPreps.com. The school has an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students. Washington plans to make the move Monday.
“I want to become pro, and being around people on the same mission as you is huge,” Washington said. “Iron sharpens iron, and that’s what I’m trying to take with me.”
“I’m going to miss the (Grand Rapids) community and Grand Rapids Christian,” Washington added. “The school has made me a better basketball player and a better man, a better Christian and a better friend, a better everything. My props go to Grand Rapids Christian High School and the city, which has done nothing but good for me.”
Washington received an offer from Michigan earlier this week. He also is receiving interest from Michigan State University.
“I would like to make a decision before the start of basketball season,” Washington said. “I would like to get it done during the early-signing period in November. But there is no rush. I will know when the time is right, and I will make the decision when the time comes.”