One of the nation’s top-ranked guards says he’s going to play basketball for the Washington Huskies.
Markelle Fultz, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound shooting guard from Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, announced a commitment to UW on Friday afternoon during the telecast of the Under Armour Slam Dunk Contest on ESPNU.
Fultz is considered a consensus five-star recruit — those are rare at UW — and chose the Huskies and coach Lorenzo Romar over offers from Arizona, Louisville and Kentucky, among many others.
“My relationship with (Romar) is unbelievable,” Fultz said on the ESPNU telecast. “He talks to me about almost everything, not even basketball-wise. Off the court, he talks to me about school — make sure I do what I’ve got to do in the classroom and just making sure I do what I can to be able be eligible for college.”
Scout.com ranks Fultz the No. 22 player in the 2016 class. ESPN ranks him No. 21. 247 Sports ranks him No. 19. Each outlet labels him a five-star prospect.
The last five-star recruit to commit to Washington was Garfield High School guard Tony Wroten, who played one season for the Huskies in 2011-12 before entering the NBA draft. Romar has coached four other five-stars — Jon Brockman, Quincy Pondexter, Spencer Hawes and Abdul Gaddy — and also received commitments from five-star prospects Martell Webster (who chose to enter the NBA draft out of high school), Terrence Jones (who reneged and chose Kentucky instead) and Enes Kanter (who also chose Kentucky but was never ruled eligible by the NCAA).
Six of those players were from the Northwest. Fultz’s hometown is Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and the Huskies aren’t often in the mix for touted recruits from east-coast prep powerhouses like Dematha.
Fultz played on Dematha’s JV team as a sophomore but blossomed into the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference player of the year last season as a junior and is now regarded as one of the best scoring guards in his class. He’ll be able to sign a binding national letter of intent during the early signing period in November.
Fultz is the second player in the 2016 class to commit to UW, joining New Zealand center Sam Timmins. The Huskies also signed five top-100-ranked players as part of their 2015 recruiting class.