Saddi Washington’s persistence pays off with Kobe Bufkin’s commitment


When John Beilein took over the Cleveland Cavaliers 14 months ago, sending Michigan’s basketball program into a state of momentary paralysis, Saddi Washington continued to work.As Warde Manuel rushed desperately to replace Beilein, the recruiting class for the 2019 Wolverines was plunged into turmoil a few weeks before arriving on campus. But it was not there that the uncertainty ended. During the critical recruiting period in late spring, Michigan could not afford 10 days of silence on its courses in 2020 and 2021 while Manuel was doing his coaching research.

So even with its own uncertain future, Washington worked on phones and went to shop windows, providing an indispensable bridge from Beilein to the nascent Juwan Howard era. “Saddi has all the boxes checked,” Steve Finamore, a coach at Lansing High School, told me. “Obviously, he has a relationship with all the players. ”

More than a year later, it paid off, with four-star shooting goalkeeper Kobe Bufkin becoming Howard’s third entry in 2021.

“They’re not only going to have a big kid, they’re going to have a great student, they’re going to have a great player,” said Sean Moore, Bufkin’s coach at AAU with The Family. “(Michigan) might as well pop a bottle because they have a big child. “

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