Slammers sign new US import
The Printsync South West Slammers men’s team confirmed the signing of a new American import last Friday, with reputable point-guard Jay Washington joining the roster.
Washington, 31, is no stranger to Australia, having played extensively throughout New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory over the past five seasons.
Delighted about his new deal, Washington is all about one thing – providing equal opportunities to all of his teammates.
“I know a lot of guys kinda focus on scoring,” he said. “But I just believe you can affect the game positively in so many ways.
“Being a true point-guard – who can score to take over a game – but one who can also pass, play defence and show a little bit of everything while keeping the team involved.
“It makes it a lot tougher on defences to guard because any one player can go off at any point.
“I like to really make sure I keep my guys involved. Be a leader on the floor and be an extension of coach (Mark Worthington).”
Before his Slammers commitments, Washington will complete a season with Palmerston Power in the Darwin Basketball Association.
In his debut last Friday night against the Eagles Basketball Club, the classy point-guard dropped 17 points and had 11 assists.
Washington told the Bunbury Herald newly appointed Slammers coach Worthington’s professionalism shone through during the negotiation process.
“Being in Australia, I do pay attention to things such as imports coming and going,” he said.
“I know they had a point-guard there for a few seasons, which stood out. So I have always heard things about the program in the South West. “When you have an opportunity to play for someone who played at a high level like coach Worthington, you definitely have to take advantage of that, given the player he was.
“He seems to be a real players’ coach, so I am really looking forward to it. My whole experience with them (the Slammers) up to date has been great.
“They have been exactly everything they said they are going to do, and following through in a professional and timely manner.”
Aside from his other passion, gridiron, Oakland Raiders fan Washington’s biggest enjoyment comes from coaching and developing players.
“One of the things I really enjoy about Australia is the opportunity to coach and do development activities on top of playing,” he said.
“Playing in England, you do not really get that opportunity, so Australia has always stood out for me because you really get a chance to coach and be involved with an association – from under-12s right up to the men’s team.
“Long term, I definitely want to get into coaching when I am done playing, along with the development stuff. Being able to have both of those things – really shape and mentor the players of tomorrow – not only into becoming great players on the court, but better players off the court is what I really enjoy doing.”
Worthington is optimistic about Washington’s arrival.
“A lot of people came back with the same report almost every time,” he said. “Regarding how much of a hard worker he is and how humble he is as a person.”
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