Former AZ Compass Prep point guard, Kentucky's TyTy Washington Jr. to enter NBA draft
Former AZ Compass Prep point guard TyTy Washington Jr. announced Wednesday on social media that he is leaving Kentucky after one season to make himself eligible for the NBA draft.
Washington revealed his decision to forego his sophomore through senior season on his Twitter account and a montage of his freshman season highlights while narrating his journey on his Instagram page.
Washington grew up in Tempe and Phoenix's South Mountain area. He played his first two years at Laveen Cesar Chavez High School before transferring to the national prep power AZ Compass Prep in Chandler. He led AZ Compass to a 30-2 record, its highest-ever No. 2 ranking in MaxPreps' national poll, and the 2021 GEICO Nationals semifinals as a senior.
"First and foremost, I'd like to thank God for the opportunities He's provided for me and my family," Washington said. "To Big Blue Nation I'd like to express my gratitude to all of you for embracing me and my family like your own this past year.
"From Coach Cal, to everyone involved with Kentucky Basketball, I can't thank you enough for the support. The experience and the knowledge I can carry forward from my time at Kentucky will help me be a better man and player moving forward."
The 6-foot-3 combo guard established himself as one of the nation's top playmakers and pick-and-roll guards this past college basketball season.
Thank you BBN💙 pic.twitter.com/UDX9O24rdf
— Tyty Washington (@tytywashington3) April 6, 2022
Washington is projected as No. 14 in ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony's mock draft. He plans to hire Kevin Bradbury of REP1 Sports as his agent, per ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
He was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer who averaged 12.5 points per game behind their AP College Player of the Year and Wooden Award-winning junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe (17.4). Washington shot 45.1% and contributed 3.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 29.2 minutes per game.
His career-high at Kentucky was 28 points in its 107-79 rout of SEC rival Tennessee on Jan. 15. Washington's 17 assists in the Wildcats' Jan. 8 victory over Georgia broke NBA All-Star and fellow Kentucky one-and-done John Wall's single-game assist record by one.
In addition to being selected to the SEC's All-Freshman Team, Washington earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors five times. He became the first Kentucky player to earn that award four consecutive weeks from late December through January 17 since Devin Booker in the 2014-15 season.
Washington helped lead Kentucky to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament's East region before being upset by 15th seed Saint Peter's in the first round, ending Kentucky's season on a 26-8 record.
Washington's production took a hit after missed three games from multiple ankle injuries he suffered, including his sprain in Kentucky's loss to Auburn on Jan. 22 and in its win over Florida on Feb. 12.
He told Givony on Wednesday he's still recuperating, but made his mark for June's draft.
"I wasn't anywhere close to full strength in the past two months of the season," Washington said. "My ankle had moments where it felt really good and then others it was really hurting. After the Auburn game, that's when things went downhill. It was a nagging injury that I never really got right. I'm still not 100 percent now, but I'm getting close.
"The warrior mentality instilled in me by my mom and dad had me playing in games that I probably shouldn't have. I think NBA teams were able to see how tough I am."
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kentucky point guard TyTy Washington Jr. declares for NBA draft