Four-star senior point guard Isaiah Washington from St. Raymond's High School (N.Y.) announced Sunday on Twitter that he committed to the Gophers.
Washington, a 6-foot, 160-pound elite playmaker in the nation, was on a official visit to Minnesota over the weekend. He becomes the first recruit in Gophers coach Richard Pitino's 2017 class.
"I enjoyed the school very much," Washington told the Star Tribune on Sunday. "I feel like it's one big family here. I just wanted to be a part of that. My expectations are to get to the (NCAA) tournament when I get here. I'm a pass-first point guard who can score when my teammates need me to. I want to make a huge impact."
I'm officially a gopher ã½ï¸ï¿½ï¿½— isaiah Washington (@Jellyfam_Dimes) September 11, 2016
A Bronx native, Washington has a strong relationship with Minnesota assistant coach Kimani Young, who is from New York and a former director of his New Heights AAU program. Washington is ranked No. 62 by Rivals.com, No. 65 by Scout.com and 96th by ESPN.com.
"It's been a great process; they've been there from the beginning," Washington said about the Gophers. "They always showed me love, came to every one of my games. Even Pitino came to a majority of my games. He was there front and center. My relationship with Kimani has been good. I've known him since I was younger. That played a big role in it, because I know he'll take care of me at the school."
Washington's 36-point performance in the Under Armour Elite 24 game last month against five-star point guard Trevon Duval was on national television. It turned Washington into a consensus top-100 recruit at the end of the summer.
The Gophers won just eight games last season, but Washington sees the program making a big turnaround this year with more experience.
"This year they'll definitely have a better year," he said. "I think they have the potential to make the tournament."
Landing Washignton comes on the heels of Champlin Park point guard McKinley Wright's decision between Dayton and Minnesota. Wright, who was on an official visit to Dayton this weekend, tweeted that he changed his announcement date from Thursday to Tuesday.
The Gophers are still hoping to land Champlin Park big man Theo John, who was on a visit with Washington this weekend. The 6-9, 230-pound John is the top remaining frontcourt target for Pitino in the 2017 class, but he's also strongly considering Marquette.