Introducing Blue Raider James Washington

GoBlueRaiders.com will sit down with each men's basketball player leading up to the first official team practice on Oct. 15

July 19, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
This is the first installment of a series highlighting the 2010-11 Middle Tennessee basketball team as they begin preparation to defend their Sun Belt Conference title. In this edition, GoBlueRaiders.com sat down with senior point guard James Washington, the undisputed floor leader of the Blue Raiders for the coming season. The Saint Louis, Mo., native set the school record for most 3-pointers in a game with 10 vs. Houston Baptist last season.

Q: You played in all 33 games last year after transferring from Indian Hills Community College, and were an instrumental part in the Blue Raiders winning their first Sun Belt regular season championship. What did it mean to you to bring home the title?
A: It meant a lot because the men's basketball program hadn't done it in a while here. I feel it is just the beginning for what Middle Tennessee is on its way to becoming. This season, I think we can win the conference again, and hopefully get to the NCAA Tournament.

Q: You were highly recruited out of junior college. Why did you choose Middle Tennessee?
A: Middle Tennessee recruited me hard, and I liked the environment when I visited here. My junior college coach told me that it was easy to get overlooked at some schools because I am smaller guard. MT was like a big school to me, and I felt I could come in here, show my talent and be able to win at the same time. I think it is a perfect fit.

Q: Last year's team was very close, on and off the floor. As a senior leader, what is being done to make the newcomers feel a part of that closeness?
A: The first thing to make the new players feel welcome is to try and get close to each other outside the gym as well as on the court. I was new last year, and I remember how Desmond Yates, Montarrio Haddock and Calvin O'Neil made me feel, and I liked the closeness we had. That's the way it needs to be, and as a senior it's up to us to lead the way.

Q: What do you like most about the city of Murfreesboro?
A: I like the size. I was in two different colleges, and both of them were in small towns, and I thought Murfreesboro would be the same, but it's not. I still don't know all the street names and I haven't eaten at all the restaurants yet. I was amazed at how big it is compared to where I had been. There is plenty to do here.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?
A: Winning! That's what I came here to do. We did that last year, but I am expecting bigger things this year. I am sure that Coach Davis and the staff, and the rest of the players are planning on putting MT on the map this year. I plan to have fun both on and off the court, and bring a winning tradition back to Middle Tennessee State University.

Q: What is your favorite part about the game of basketball?
A: I just like being in the games, and all the excitement that goes with it. I like distributing the ball, getting everybody involved in the game, being the general on the floor.

Q: Against Houston Baptist last year, you set a school record with ten 3-pointers in one game. What fueled you in that performance?
A: My teammates fueled me. I was kind of off the ball in that game, and Desmond and Calvin finding me, and telling me to spot up and shoot it. I didn't even know I had the record. Coming into the game, it definitely was not in the game plan for me to attempt that many three's in the game. But that's just the game of basketball. You never know what to expect on any given night.

Q: What is one thing that Middle Tennessee fans do not know about you that they might find interesting?
A: They probably don't know that I am bowlegged. When I was born the doctors wanted to break my legs (and reset them). I was really bowlegged. It was so bad that I would walk on the sides of my feet. When my father was born, they broke his legs, but my grandmother wouldn't let them do it to me. As it turned out, it was best because they started to straighten up. A lot of people can't tell I'm bowlegged until they get up close to me.

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