July 24, 2013

Mason runs the show

Kevin McCarthy

Yes, Jesus Shuttlesworth is in a class by itself as a basketball player's name but hey, that was fiction. Mason Washington sounds pretty damn good too. Plus, he's for real.

photo of Mason Washingtoni

The 6-foot-2 2014 Lakeshow Pump N Run and Modesto Christian High point is in that critical period -- the summer between his junior and senior seasons -- where strong showings are needed to generate interest and offers.

So how has he been performing?

Here's Lakeshow Coach Joe Fuca: “Mason is a classic point guard with great court vision and the strength to play at the next level. He can really break the defense down with his driving capability and his court vision and he has helped us win some really big games this spring and summer by leading our team in the crunch time with big shots and steals when they count. Mason has the type of strong leadership capability that gets his team to follow his lead and play hard. His best attributes are his upper body strength and his outside jump shot. Mason has several DI teams courting him this summer with interest from San Jose State, Fresno State, Loyola Marymount, and Pacific. July will be a big month.”

Asked to describe his basketball assets, Washington offered, “my vision [on the court], getting other people involved and my high skills set.”

Gerry Freitas offered this description after the recent Nor Cal Summer Tipoff: “Good passer with very good vision, pushes ball in transition and knows how to play, effective penetrator, ok shooter.”

Washington is a straight shooter, offering that academically, “I messed up as a freshman and sophomore” but it's been on the straight and narrow since then, including summer school attendance.

He offered “Coach Midgley” as his biggest basketball influence. The former Cal guard, who also played at Modesto Christian, is the co-coach of the Crusaders. “He's helped me become better” of which included workouts beginning at 6:00 a.m.

Washington is thinking about majoring in sports medicine.

As a Trans Valley League (TVL) honorable mention honoree for 2012-13, he'll be missing both Raymond Bowles, the league most valuable player, and T.J. Wallace, who have moved on to basketball scholarships at Pacific. Last season's 29-4 record and CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship is now in the rear view mirror.

But there's Washington plus 6-foot-7 juniors Anthony Townes and Leandro Amador returning.

Not to provide bulletin board material but Washington offered, “we'll be good. At Modesto Christian, we work hard and play well as a team.”

His best moment to date on the court took place during his freshman season against Compton Centennial . “I took a charge but hurt my hand. It was really painful. Back down the court, I got fouled and made both free throws with a minute to go that put us up by three. It turned out I broke it.”

The young man offered a most compelling and succinct reason for why he settled on basketball after also enjoying six years of participation baseball and three of football: “it brings happiness.”

Exactly what Washington is going to provide to his coach at the next level.