Posted On: 07/2/21 12:00 PM
After the abrupt end to his sophomore season and after a brief period of lockdown, Lamar Washington Lamar Washington 6'4" | CG AZ Compass Prep | 2022 #133 Nation AZ got back to work. The 6-foot-4 guard may have led a stacked Jefferson in scoring and assists, and Division I scholarship offers were starting to come in. His potential as a football player was getting noticed and offers to play on the gridiron started coming in hot and heavy. But Washington wasn’t satisfied. He knew he still had things to do, things to prove. Things to show on the basketball floor.
So the then rising junior went to work the best he could during a global pandemic. He changed habits and diligently worked on reshaping his body. His endurance, strength, and quickness increased. He worked on his shot and his handle. And when he got the opportunity to play games on the court again, that’s what he did.
We saw the changes in Washington both physically and with his game last summer and were blown away then. And after he proved himself as a high-major recruit on the big stage at The Grind Session, we knew there was no other choice for pre-season 6A player of the year.
So did Washington live up to the advance billing this 2021 season?
You better bet he did.
After a grind-out opening win at Jesuit, Washington completely went off on Wells, hitting nine threes and toasting the Guardians for a mind-blowing 52 points – the second-highest single game total in Jefferson’s vaunted hoops history. It quickly became notable when he didn’t score at least 30 points in a game. 48 points to go with 15 rebounds at Benson. 40 at Milwaukie. 36 in a big home win over Roosevelt and 35 more in a road win at Westview.
Washington, who previously was best known for his long-range shooting, showed off an expanded offensive game. He was near unstoppable getting to the basket where he could bully past defenders and finish around the rim with either hand. He was effective on pull-ups and step-backs. Defensively he created havoc in the passing lanes and he could grab the defensive board and immediately get going on the break either taking it coast-to-coast himself or finding an open teammate for an easy score. He did all this when rarely missing a minute on the floor and he strictly followed the mask mandate by almost always playing with his mask fully on, covering both his nose and his mouth. Nothing seemed to be no stopping him.
But as many great seasons go, there was a bit of a lull in the middle of the year. Jefferson dropped some games that arguably should have been won and Washington would be the first to tell you that he could have played better in those contests. But when push came to shove, the junior rebounded and stepped up. With pride on the line, he stepped up big with 23 points and 12 rebounds in a huge regular season-ending win at Grant. And when culmination week came around, Washington flipped the switch into overdrive. 39 points against La Salle. A 22-point, ten-rebound double-double vs. Mountainside and then in the Blue Bracket finals, Washington posted 32 points and 9 rebounds and made all the clutch plays down the stretch to lead Jefferson over Clackamas.
So when it came down to looking at naming our 2021 6A Player of the Year, the evidence for Washington was overwhelming. On the year, he led the state in scoring at 30.1 ppg but also averaged 9.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, and 2.3 spg, numbers good enough to rank him among the state’s leaders in each of those categories. He posted nine double-doubles and flirted with a triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists against Sherwood. His scoring average qualified him to be in a select group of only five players in Oregon large school history to average over 30 points per game. And down the stretch, he took the reins and led the Demos to the finish line.
There was no more dominant player in all of 6A this season and with that said, Washington is our choice for 2021 6A Player of the Year. And while he’s thankful for the honor and all the honors he’s received – Gatorade and MaxPreps named him POY as well – it should come as no surprise that Washington isn’t finished.
“It is a true blessing and it’s been a lot of hard work and unseen hours that have been put in that people don’t understand,” Washington said. “These awards are earned not given and I know I earned every bit of it and worked my ass off. I’m excited but grounded – not satisfied at all.”
Washington now moves on to play for Dream Vision the AAU circuit and more high-major offers are likely on the way. And after that, he has announced that he will be attending Compass Prep in Arizona for his senior season. As they say, things can happen, but whether or not he leaves the state for his senior year we feel blessed we witnessed a special season from Washington in a year like none other the state has ever seen. Lamar Washington Lamar Washington 6'4" | CG AZ Compass Prep | 2022 #133 Nation AZ – our 6A state player of the year in 2021.
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