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Mike Gundy On How a Missed Dunk Helped Him Recruit Washington



I don’t think Mike Gundy has ever told this story about James Washington. We all know about the 1A high school, the tennis background and the otherworldly athleticism. But Gundy talked on Wednesday about why a missed dunk helped encourage him to offer Washington a scholarship.

“I’m not sure anybody really knew just based on being from such a small community, but he’s very athletic just as we talked about,” said Gundy.

“He was a multi-sport player. I was really excited when I watched him play a basketball game and he followed a missed shot and tried to dunk it with one hand, but he missed the dunk; but at least his elbow was above the rim.”

Like this?!

“He spoke to our team at the end, and we mentioned to the team why was because of his lead by example effort that he puts out every day, and he certainly earned a lot of respect from the players. I would agree that he has exceeded expectations and what the recruiting services thought at that time.”

Gundy also said Washington is among a group of players playing at a high level right now but that he’s mildly concerned about depth.

“Mason is doing well. Seales and Washington; Veatch and Frazier are doing really well at the Cowboy back. I like how Larry Williams is improving and the offensive line is steady with their improvement. Lampkin is making some plays. Obviously Sterns is still making some plays. Mote is showing up some, so the guys that we’d expect to make plays are doing a really good job and we just have to push forward.

“We have a number of returning starters, but we don’t have as much depth in the top 40 players as what we had last year, so it’s a little unique; but our system has always worked and we have to develop young guys to help us in October and November.”

Fingers crossed.

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