Prominent Arizona high school basketball player TyTy Washington de-committed from Creighton University after the coach made a racially insensitive comment to the team after a loss.
Back in February, Coach Greg McDermott gathered his team after a loss to Xavier and attempted to give a morale-boosting speech, but failed miserably, as Blavity previously reported.
“Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation,” McDermott said.
Washington said it was the coach’s bad choice of words that led him to de-commit from a program he once thought was ideal, The Athletic reports.
“It was definitely the controversy. I really wanted to attend Creighton,” he said, according to Cassius Life. “It felt like the situation, and the plan Coach McDermott had for me was really good. So it was kind of heartbreaking once I found out what he said. I just felt like the day and age we’re living in—a police officer just killed another young black man for no reason—him saying something like that, it’s just not right.”
The coach later issued an apology saying he “used a terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss.”
“I immediately recognized my egregious mistake and quickly addressed my use of such insensitive words with my team. I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach. I am deeply sorry,” he said back in February.
“I am committed to ensure that this will never happen again and am using this as a learning experience. While there remains work to be done and trust to earn back, I appreciate our student-athletes’ honest and will maintain an open dialogue as we grow and learn together,” McDermott added.
The loss put an end to a four-game streak for McDermott’s team which was ranked No. 14 in the country at the time.
Despite their coach’s choice of words, his team has decided to ultimately forgive him. The apology, however, was not enough for Washington who is now considering competitive basketball programs at Baylor University, Texas A&M, UCLA and the University of Kentucky.
— Moore Edits (@moore_bbn) April 13, 2021
Other schools interested include Arizona, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Oregon, Kansas and Oklahoma State, The Washington Post reported.
“[The] number [of schools that have reached out to my son] has been crazy,” Tyrone Sr. told Cats Illustrated. “He actually sits there and takes the phone calls and really hears coaches out. That’s from the mid-majors to the high D1’s. He takes time and hears coaches out.”
According to the 247Sports Composite, Washington is No. 30 overall prospect and No. 3 point guard in the class of 2021. The basketball player stands at 6’3,” weighs 185 pounds and averages 24 points per game.
The standout player is expected to narrow his list of schools by the weekend.