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Growing up, Walsingham Academy basketball player Richard Washington dreamed of playing in Duke University's Cameron Indoor Stadium, which is widely regarded as one of the most iconic college basketball stadiums.
On Wednesday, Washington took another step toward achieving his dream as he signed his letter of intent to play basketball for Division I Wake Forest, which plays in the same conference – the Atlantic Coast Conference – as Duke.
Washington, rated a top-15 player in Virginia and a three-star prospect by 247Sports, becomes the first ACC basketball player ever produced by Walsingham Academy.
"I worked really hard over the past three years and I didn't ever think I would be here," said Washington of his commitment to Wake Forest.
A 6-foot-5 shooting guard prospect, Washington was also considering other Division I colleges like William & Mary, Cincinnati and Texas Tech. Washington also had offers from Division I schools East Carolina, Hofstra, James Madison University, Old Dominion and Radford.
Ultimately, Washington chose to attend Wake Forest because of the opportunity to play in the ACC, which Washington referred to as the "highest conference" in college basketball, while staying on the East Coast. Additionally, enjoyed the family atmosphere he felt coming from the Wake Forest coaching staff.
"When I went there I loved the coaches," he said. "The coaches never made me feel like I had to go to Wake Forest. They didn't try to edge me toward their school. They treated me like family."
Walsingham Academy Coach Billy Barnes, who has coached multiple Division I basketball players, said Washington is the highest caliber player he has ever coached.
Barnes called Washington a complete offensive player, having the ability to shoot, pass, play unselfishly and score in a variety of ways outside of taking jump shots.
"He's about as complete a player I've ever seen in high school," Barnes said.