Elite recruit Washington commits to Lady Bulldogs

Halle Washington took a load off of her mind last weekend. 

The forward from Bossier City, La., decided to put an end to the circus and verbally commit to Georgia, she announced on Monday.

“Deep down inside, I kind of knew what I really wanted to but I was just scared to actually say it,” Washington said. “But I had a really long talk with my family and I did it (Monday). It was a good moment. It was a happy day all around.”

Washington is a 6-foot-3 forward from Parkway High School and is the No. 19 overall recruit for 2013 and the No. 6 forward as ranked by HoopGurlz ESPN. Washington had recruiting trips scheduled through next month but ended the drama so she could enjoy her senior year.

“I had all these trips in September and it was going to take up the whole month,” Washington said. “I sat down with my stepmom and we talked about whether I really wanted to lose that whole month with my friends and going to football games and just having fun my senior year.

Most of the school’s on Washington’s visit list weren’t serious candidates. Washington and her family decided that visiting places she had no intention of attending was a waste of time, so she committed.

“I sat there for a minute, really quiet and not saying anything,” Washington said. “Then I told my stepmom I wanted to commit and then I told her where. She looked at me a while and asked if I was serious and I said yeah.”

Washington picked Georgia over home-state LSU and defending national champion Baylor. She plans to make her verbal commitment official during the November signing period.

“People who are from this state (Louisiana) don’t want to leave,” Washington said. “But I honestly don’t know. I aspired to leave the state and branch out and do different things.”

Georgia’s coaching staff made a big impression on Washington, especially head coach Andy Landers.

“All the coaches just made me feel like I was at home and I just had a good gut feeling that was where I needed to be,” Washington said. “Coach Landers’ personality was really, really good. He kind of reminded me of my dad, so that was really cool. He knows how to be serious and when he means business, he means business. But he’s got a goofy side too. When it’s time to play around, he can make jokes too.”

Georgia will need some help in the front court in 2013-14. The Lady Bulldogs will lose senior multi-year starters Jasmine Hassell and Anne Marie Armstrong along with primary backup Tamika Willis. Georgia went 22-9 last year, including 11-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia was knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Marist 76-70.

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