1,000-point man

Greenville High School boys basketball coach Delmar Sprouse said he feels blessed to have been able to coach Danny Washington over the last three seasons.

Washington, the Planters Bank Player of the Week, has been a coach’s dream.

“He’s done everything the right way. I could not have asked for more from him. He works hard and keeps getting better. Even when coaches wanted to go home, he wanted to stay in the gym and keep working on his game. He is a leader, and he leads by example,” Sprouse said.

Washington’s hard work has paid off through victories and personal milestones. A slashing and dynamic guard who can dribble by just about any defender, Washington scored his 1,000th point last week during a tournament game against Madison Central. Washington scored 28 points in the game.

This is the first time Sprouse, a veteran coach, has ever had a player score this many points over a career for him. The coach called the milestone a testament to Washington’s leadership.

“He has always been a vocal leader for us, but this season his leadership has risen to another level,” Sprouse said. “He is a floor leader. Now, sometimes he does not even need to say anything to get his teammates attention. They already know what he wants them to do.”

Last season, Washington had a breakout year and was named the Delta Preps Player of the Year after helping the Hornets reach the state semifinals for the first time in nine years. That season he averaged 14.6 points, 4.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

This season, Washington is only stronger.

Heading into his team’s road game against Warren Central on Friday night, Washington is averaging 19.9 points a game.

Washington’s scoring ability has always come naturally for him. It was a talent Sprouse saw early when he first saw Washington as a sophomore.

“I have always been able to score the ball well. My first step is so fast that I can get around most defenders,” Washington said. “But, reaching 1,000 points is pretty cool. Not a lot of high school players have done it, and it means that I have been consistent.”

While personal milestones are nice for Washington, they are not what he is focused on.

While this year’s team may not have the size of last year’s squad, Washington said he believes he can lead his team through another great postseason this year.

This year’s team, which currently has a 12-5 record, is full of quick guards who can wreak havoc on opposing backcourts. These guards include junior Morgan Green, senior Shermichael Young, senior Donald Clark and senior Edmond Ekanem.

“I really believe that this year’s team can be better,” Washington said. “Our passing and defense are much better. We just need to keep working on it.”