Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Last month’s Border League in Arizona was filled to the brim with some of the premier prospects in high school basketball. AZ Compass Prep (AZ) was the winner of the West Coast division of the event, with their guard Tyrone “TyTy” Washington shining as one of the standouts of the tournament. At 6’3”, Washington has the handle to create space for himself, plus has effective, compact shooting mechanics off the dribble and is equally dangerous playing off of the ball. He’s able to consistently find teammates in scoring position, plays tough defense and has the strength to finish at the rim through contact.
Already ranked nationally in the top 70, Washington may not be done moving up the high school class of 2021 rankings, as it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’ll be an immediate impact player in college. He is set to announce his college choice on November 15th, his 18th birthday. His finalists include Arizona State, Auburn, Creighton, Illinois, LSU, Mississippi, New Mexico, San Diego State, UC-Santa Barbara, USC, and Washington State.
In this interview, Washington talks about his family background, his time playing football, who he feels are the top 2021 players at his position, a glimpse at some of his college thought process, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2021 prospect TyTy Washington, from Phoenix, Arizona:
Pro Insight: Tell us about your background.
TyTy Washington: I'm from Phoenix, Arizona, born and raised. Come from a basketball family. Mom and dad played [basketball]. Rumor is mom could have went to the league and all that, but then she had me. So it’s pretty much a basketball family. I’ve got a little brother, a little sister as well as an uncle who’s younger than me. He’s my dad’s little brother. I treat him like a brother and he's always over at my house working out. My dad also has a little sister who is my aunt who runs track as well. We’re just an athletic family.
PI: Do you play other sports as well?
TW: I used to, I stopped after my sophomore year. I used to play football. I played quarterback.
PI: Did you stop because of basketball? Do you still wish you were playing football?
TW: A little bit of both. I just felt like my recruitment was getting more serious with basketball so I didn't want to chance it by playing football for just the fun of it. I wasn't playing football to get recruited or anything, I was more playing for fun. I could have been recruited, but I took a break back in eighth grade and wanted to come back and play one more time in high school.
PI: What are your greatest strengths on the basketball court?
TW: I think my greatest strength is being able to make those around me better. That’s the first thing, just me being able to find my other guys and get them going. Aside from that, just me scoring the ball.
PI: What are some areas of improvement?
TW: Just being a better vocal leader. Especially with this being my senior year and having a lot of younger dudes, just me being able to lead them throughout the whole season.
PI: How would you describe your leadership style?
TW: I’m more of a lead-by-example type. In practice, we have two talented junior guards and I’m always on them heavy because once I go off to college the program is going to be in their hands. So every day in practice I make sure I’m guarding them or they’re guarding me. I make sure we’re always close to each other so when it's their time, they can be ready.
PI: What would you say are some underrated aspects of your game?
TW: I would probably just say defense and being able to pass. Earlier in my basketball career I was just labeled as a scorer at my other school and people would say I’m lazy and stuff, but I try to play defense and try to do it all.
PI: Who are the top-five guards in the 2021 class?
PI: What’s the current update with your recruitment?
TW: I posted a top-10, but I’ve been taking the time to narrow it down without posting and stuff like that. So I kind of have an idea where I want to go. I'm down to a few last options and I’d say around like the first few weeks in November I’ll make a commitment.
PI: Have you been hearing from some schools more than others?
TW: A few of them. I mean I talk to Illinois, Creighton, and San Diego State like every day. Like literally if I don’t text back within two minutes then it’s another text or a call [from them]. It’s not really them being nervous, it’s just them showing they want me and all that.
PI: What type of system best fits your playing style?
TW: For me, just having an up-paced tempo. I like to get out and run in transition, get easier buckets, and to play spaced out. I like to have space coming off pick and rolls for myself or for another teammate.
PI: Do you model your game after anyone?
TW: No, not necessarily, but I used to watch James Harden a lot because a few months back I was a little chubbier and kind of built like he was. So I’d just watch how he gets to the rim and all that. Mainly the people I focus on are Jamal Murray and Chris Paul. I like to watch Chris Paul just based off his leadership skills, he can really make anybody around him better, no matter how good or how bad they are.
PI: What position do you view yourself as?
TW: Point guard.
PI: What role do you see yourself playing at the next level?
TW: My role would be able to knock down open shots and be able to create. I think that’s going to be my role, like a Lonzo Ball type where I create for others and knock down an open shot.
PI: What’s your biggest passion outside of basketball?
TW: Outside of basketball I like hanging out [with family]. My cousins live three houses down and they’re younger than me. So outside of playing [basketball] I’m at his house or he’s at my house and we’re just playing video games or we’re just outside on the mini-hoop dunking on each other.
PI: What rating would you give yourself on 2K?
TW: I’ll give myself a cool 92, nah, I’ll say I’m a smooth 94. But we’re in October, I’d say by January my 94 would jump up to about a 98, like LeBron.
PI: What are four words that best describe you?
TW: Goofy. Funny. Smart. Competitive.