Wroten picks Washington


Tony Wroten Jr., a Garfield High senior and UW's fourth commit for the 2011 class, answers questions at Garfield High School after announcing he'll attend Washington next year.

Tony Wroten Jr. spent the entire day feeling out the idea of committing to Louisville.

At 7:43 a.m., he tweeted Louisville Cardinal fans to “holla at me,” dressed in a black-and-red vest with a black-and-red plaid shirt, and at the press conference, Louisville was the first hat he grabbed.

When the decision came, though, it was all purple and gold.

Wroten, one of the top-ranked guards in the nation, let his teammates reveal his decision for him; at the press conference, he briefly fiddled around with a couple of hats in front of him, but eventually, he let his Garfield teammates take off their jackets to unveil the UW apparel to let everyone know he’ll be a Husky next year.

Wroten is a 6-foot-5 point guard who has been touted as one of the best preps in the country since he was in middle school. Not only did he excel on his high school team, leading them to the Class 4A state championship game as a sophomore, but he also played club basketball with Seattle Rotary and was a part of the gold-medal-winning U.S. team at U17 FIBA World Championships this summer.

“He’s done things that no other player in the state of Washington has done,” Garfield coach Ed Haskins said of Wroten prior to the selection. “From the sixth to about the 10th grade, Tony was number one in the country. There has never been a player in Washington … who has ever stayed at that ranking that high, and the only thing that dropped him down below that No. 1 ranking was an injury.”

The decision came down to five teams: Louisville, the UW, Seattle University, Villanova, and Connecticut, though most contend that the final decision was between the top two teams, Washington and Louisville. The final decision, according to Wroten, came just before the 3 p.m. conference.

“2:59, that’s when I decided to come to the UW,” the high school senior said. “2:59 p.m. I thought hard and realized UW was where I wanted to be.”

Wroten will be the fourth commit to the UW for the class of 2011, and the third guard ­— Andrew Andrews and Hikeem Stewart have already unofficially committed to the Huskies, though Andrews likely won’t play until 2012, as he goes to a prep school in the interim.

In the fanfare of the Garfield High School gymnasium, Wroten was all-optimism about the future of Husky basketball.

“Husky fans, we’re coming for the win,” Wroten said, almost out of breath. “Everything is going to change now, we’re here, Husky fans.”

Reach reporter William Dow at sports@dailyuw.com.

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