Friday, Jan. 30, 2009 | midnight
Within a minute of his home opener with Irwin & Susan Molasky Middle School, eighth grader Sir Washington showed he was comfortable with his new basketball team.
Washington, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Marvin Sedway Middle School, stole the ball from a Jim Bridger Middle School guard just after tip off and raced down the court for an easy layup.
On Molasky's second possession he made another layup, this time after a hard foul. He missed the free throw but got his own rebound and passed to a teammate for an uncontested jumper.
"My teammates have helped me play better, getting me the ball when I'm down low," Washington said after Molasky's 44-9 win. "And they can shoot from the outside so we make a pretty good team. I think we can definitely win it all."
Molasky, the defending Clark County School District champions, are favorites to defend their title this season. Washington's play has been a major factor in the team's dominance.
"It was certainly a huge boost to get him," Molasky coach Jamie Brockway said. "I feel this year's team has just as much or more talent compared to last year's team."
The Magic have started the season 7-0 and placed first in the two preseason tournaments, the Bobcat and Martin Luther King invitationals.
Washington won a tournament MVP honors after scoring 24 points in Molasky's 70-57 win against Bob Miller Middle School in the Bobcat finals on Jan. 10.
Since the performance, Washington said he has grown accustomed to being double teamed by the opposition.
"It has just made me want to work harder," he said about the extra attention from opposing coaches.
Washington's maturity and strength have had many pointing to him as a future high school star, Brockway said.
"Sir is a phenomenal player all around," he said. "He will for sure step up and be a star in high school. He has great basketball smarts. If he grows a couple of inches he could go right to varsity."
Washington, who hopes to attend Mojave next year, said he learned most of his game from his brother, Western senior Melvin Washington.
Like his 6-foot-9 brother, Sir Washington towers above the opposition while being nimble enough to shoot from the outside.
"My brother has taught me a lot," Sir Washington said. "He has shown me different post moves, so I know how to score."
Washington is not the only player on Molasky's roster being lauded for high school potential.
Brockway said guard Eris Winder has been equally important to his team's success.
"He is probably one of the best ball-handlers and guards in the city," Brockway said. "Once he gets his work ethic up he will be unstoppable."
Even with the big names, Brockway said he has more players than last year contributing to the team.
Winder, one of four returning eighth graders, said a more balanced team has helped Molasky deal with the added pressure from being defending champions.
"Sometimes we have our arguments, but I think once we get through that we can win it again," he said.
Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.