Washington and Henry Stunting in the Spring
Team Harden's 6-foot-2 2021 combo guard TyTy Washington from Cesar Chavez High is no new-comer to the travel basketball scene. His name has been ringing bells for quite a while now. He is a ballplayer by true definition. A true gym rat who uses it as a tool to work on his game or to perform. However, he also uses it as his playground. If you catch him clowning around with his friends, it is usually taking place on the basketball court.
His AAU teammate, 6-foot-7 2020 big man DeAndre Henry from Mountain Pointe High is a football player by trade. He is ranked as one of the top football players in the state of Arizona with multiple high-major Division-I offers already on the gridiron. However, that same toughness he uses to run-block or protect his QB is the same toughness he has been playing with as of late for Team Harden.
Both Washington and Henry, along with 5-11 2021 guard Ricardo Sarmiento and 6-4 2020 guard Xavier DuSell, has been guiding forces in Team Harden's 2 tournaments thus far. Team Harden played up in the 17U Division in the Southwest Showcase Main Event in Avondale, Arizona and won the whole thing. Washington was lights out on the first day of games, however a concussion would sideline him for the Championship push. Henry played up an age group and banged down low, doing the little things to help his team to the trophy behind the strong guard play of DuSell and Sarmiento. He was one of the more physical players I saw all weekend.
Both players came back on a tear over the weekend in LA, playing in Gerry Frietas' Spring Tip-Off event. Washington was his usually silky-smooth self, using his ball-handling skills to create open shots for himself and utilizing that shot that he has became so well known for. Henry did what Henry does. He banged down low, moved his feet thru the lane well on both ends and used them soft hands of his to catch them zip-passes from Harden's guards to finish down low.
Team Harden would come out of the weekend 3-1, with some impressive wins over National Shoe Circuit teams. They will head back to the Los Angeles area this weekend to play in the Pangos Best of the West Shootout at Cerritos College.
When you watch Washington play, you are watching a mature guard that understands the game far beyond his years. While his outside shooting and pull-up mid-range shot are the things that stand out about him the most, he is an under-rated ball handler that weaves thru traffic like a Benz coup thru traffic. His body is still pulling into shape and he is still figuring out his athleticism, but the tools are all there to be an elite scorer at this level. He is a gamer!
Henry's width and strength in the pain stand out as soon as you see him on the floor. There is no confusion about him being a top-tier football player based on the eye test alone. His footwork is impressive for his 6-7, 250-pound frame. He finishes well around the rim and is a great athlete that bursts up thru contact well. He won't be labeled as bouncy cuz he jumps like he has been doing football combines his whole life where he almost sits down to burst up. However, when he gets up, he finishes above the rim with some thunder.
I would project both to have yet another great showing this weekend in Southern California. This will be their last "warm-up" event before Team Harden takes the road for the start of the Adidas Gauntlet, where they will play in LA and Atlanta.
IMAGE ON FRONT PAGE: TYTY WASHINGTON
IMAGE ON BOTTOM: DEANDRE HENRY