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Washington signs with Deacons
The Franklin News Post, by Steven Marsh

November 11, 2011 - Now that Andre Washington is a signed and sealed Wake Forest Demon Deacon, he can give his undivided attention to more immediate things.

For one, his sister's wedding this weekend. Then there are the 31 regular-season basketball games he has left to play as a member of Hargrave Military Academy's postgraduate basketball team.

Washington, who hails from Rocky Mount, was one of five Hargrave players who made binding commitments to continue his career at the college level next fall by signing a letter-of-intent with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) school on the first day of the early signing period for basketball Wednesday in a ceremony at the Chatham school.

"When you (verbally) commit, you don't anticipate (signing). But today, you do. It's a big day and I'm ready to sign. This is something I've been waiting for all of my life,' Washington said.

Washington made a non-binding, verbal commitment to Wake Forest in March. He chose the the Demon Deacons over Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, James Madison, Liberty and UNC Greensboro.

It was a good day for the ACC as Washington and teammate Codi Miller-McIntyre of Concord, N.C. both signed with Wake Forest, while Montrezl Harrell of Tarboro, N.C. committed to Virginia Tech.

Also signing were John Burke of Atlanta, Ga. with the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Charles Buggs of Arlington, Texas with the University of Minnesota.

Nine other players, all of whom are entertaining offers from NCAA Division I and Division II schools, are expected to commit during the April signing period, first-year Hargrave head coach A.W. Hamilton said.

Each of the five player who signed Wednesday made either Hargrave's President's List or Dean's List for the first six weeks grading period.

Hamilton, who played for Wake Forest in 2001, said he considers Washington, a 7-foot center to be "one of the country's best shot blockers.

"(Andre) has had a tremendous year so far and has shown flashes of brilliance,' Hamilton said.

Counting tournament play, Washington could compete in as many as 40 games this season -- 14 more than he played in while at Roanoke Catholic last year.

Washington is playing for his third school in as many years -- he played for Franklin County in 2009-10 and Roanoke Catholic in 2010-11.

Each of the changes has put him in a different athletic, academic and social atmosphere, Washington said.

"It has been a good experience as far as getting used to different environments -- Franklin County is public school environment, Roanoke Catholic is more of a Christian environment, then you have the military environment here,' Washington said. "This will pay dividends down the road.'

Starting from his debut year of interscholastic play as an eighth grader at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Washington has played for six head coaches in six years.

"(Playing for different coaches) will get me used to different coaching styles. Hargrave is by far the best team I've played for,' Washington said.

It will be easier to concentrate on and accomplish personal goals now that he's committed, Washington said.

"I'd like to be starting (at Wake) by the end of my freshman year. I'm a basketball player, so I see myself as the best,' Washington said.

And at Hargrave.

"We should win a national championship (the school won national titles in 2004 and 2008, was the national runner-up in 2009 and reached the national Final Four in 2004, 2008, 2008 and 2010.

Before the fall arrives, Washington said he wants to add weight and get quicker.

"That should put me over the top,' Washington said.

In his lone varsity season at FCHS, Washington averaged 8.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. He blocked a team-best 74 shots, an average of 3.5 per game. He earned honorable mention All-Western Valley District recognition.

Washington posted eight triple-doubles during a13-13 2011 Roanoke Catholic campaign. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 6.7 blocks for the Celtics. He shot 54 percent from the field.

"Andre is long and tall. He has strong hands and a competitive spirit that will serve him well as his body fills out,' Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said of Washington in a release on the Deacons' official athletic website. " His ability to alter and block shots will provide us with another line of defense at the rim. This is a skilled young man who has a chance to become an impact center for the Demon Deacons.

In all, Wake Forest signed six players Wednesday.

Besides Washington and Miller-McIntyre, forwards Tyler Cavanaugh of Jamesville, N.Y., Amaud Adala Moto of Alexandria, Aaron Rountree of Wilson, N.C. and Devin Thomas of Harrisburg, Penn. made official commitments Wednesday.

The six-player class is ranked seventh in the nation by and 14th by ESPN, the release said.

Washington is rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN, Scout and ESPN ranks him as the No. 25 center in the class of 2012 and also has him as the No. 9 rated prospect from Virginia and 33rd in the East Region."We didn't think we were as good as some of these other guys," he added.

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