PJ Washington is a 6’7 power forward heading to Univeristy of Kentucky in the Fall. With a versatile game, PJ is considered one of the top incoming freshmen in the nation. He has long been on the recruiting scene starting at Prime Prep and ending up at Findlay Prep. We caught up with Washington and he discussed why he chose Kentucky, and his future plans.
NBADraft.net: What separates you from your peers?
PJ Washington: What separates me…my versatility. I feel like I can do a lot of things on the court that a lot of other players can’t. I can run the floor, rebound, dribble, get everybody involved, and shoot shots.
NBADraft.net: How would you best describe your game?
PJ Washington: Just my heart. Just my ability to win and I’ll do anything my coach wants me to do.
NBADraft.net: How was your experience in Chicago playing in the McDonald’s All America game?
PJ Washington: Great. Just being with all my UK guys, being able to mess with them, just get our games better, and then just playing with everybody else. Just seeing all our friends. Just a great overall experience.
NBADraft.net: Did you feel like you had anything to prove in the game?
PJ Washington: Not really. Honestly, not really. Just being there proved everything honestly and it was great being around everybody.
NBADraft.net: Is there anybody you model your game after?
PJ Washington: I take a little bit from everybody’s game like Draymond Green’s toughness. LeBron (James), he gets others involved.
NBADraft.net: What’s the main thing you want to add or work on heading to college?
PJ Washington: Just keep working on my outside game, on my shot, and my ballhandling. Just getting my body right, just eating right, and stuff like that.
NBADraft.net: At what age did you realize basketball was something you wanted to pursue?
PJ Washington: Around eighth grade, I always played basketball but didn’t get too serious about it, and in the eighth grade I started getting really serious. Then I felt like I can really do something with this.
NBADraft.net: Did you make any changes to your diet or workout routine once you made that commitment to Kentucky?
PJ Washington: Yeah, I started running a lot more and just started focusing on basketball instead of other sports. Then, me and my family, we went to a prep school my freshman year. Then we went to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.
NBADraft.net: How was the transition from Prime Prep to Findlay Prep?
PJ Washington: Findlay Prep’s was different. I had to go away from home my freshman year away from my family and everything. It just made me grow up and just do everything on my own.
NBADraft.net: How was playing for your dad your senior year?
PJ Washington: It was great. I love playing for him. He was the best thing for us this year and he’s a great coach. He just wants the team to do well, it doesn’t matter about individual stats and that’s what I like about him.
NBADraft.net: What drew you to Kentucky?
PJ Washington: Just the way they treat their players. They come in and do really well, just a team thing. They do well with great players at every position and they get them to the next level.
NBADraft.net: Do you feel pressure with a lot of players probably leaving after this year?
PJ Washington: Not really. The guys we have coming in should be fine as long as we all play together.
NBADraft.net: Did you try to recruit any of the uncommitted players after your commitment?
NBADraft.net: You took in a few games in Kentucky this year, how did the fans treat you?
PJ Washington: The fans loved it. It was great. It was a great atmosphere. A lot of BBN (Big Blue Nation) fans. Everybody came up and took pictures with me but it was really good.
NBADraft.net: What’s been your biggest moment of your career so far?
PJ Washington: Biggest moment…probably my commitment or playing in the USA U18 last summer.
NBADraft.net: Can you talk a little about your Team USA experience?
PJ Washington: It was great. I got to play with Quade (Green). I got to play with Mohamed Bamba and Hamidou Diallo. It was just great playing with those guys. It was really like an all-star team playing in Chile and we got a gold medal so it was the best thing about it really.
NBADraft.net: If you could go back and give advice to a ninth grade PJ Washington, what would you say?
PJ Washington: Just stay in the gym, just work hard, and don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do.
NBADraft.net: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
PJ Washington: Five years from now…in the league honestly.