If this were any other spring, Corinne Washington would be traveling to Detroit this weekend with her Western PA Bruins teammates for an AAU basketball tournament in the Motor City. Due to COVID-19, those face-to-face encounters have been cancelled, along with opportunities to be seen by college recruiters. With help from their AAU teams, players like Corinne Washington have reached out to colleges.

“In Corinne’s case, she drew up a wish list of schools,” said John Tate, executive director of the Western PA Bruins. “We reached out to all five of them. We heard back from four. She got offers from three.”

Washington committed to Boston University, saying, “Coach Tate has done a great job of making sure the 2021 class is getting recruited even though we’re not playing any games right now.”

Eight current Bruins from the 2021 class have already committed to Division I schools, with six making their decision over the past few weeks.

Tate is hopeful everybody’s basketball isolation will end within a couple of months. If the national AAU events are canceled, he’ll try to organize something small locally in late summer, if Gov. Tom Wolf’s restrictions allow. He envisions streaming video of the games online so college coaches could watch. Until then, he’ll work his college connections. He said the Bruins have five or six juniors who remain uncommitted.

“With no evaluation periods, we’re relying on relationships,” Tate said. “The Bruins have been around 33 years. We’ve sent a bunch of kids to schools — big, big numbers over the last seven to eight years. These college coaches will take our word for it if we say: ‘Hey, we’ve got a kid that’s a fit for you.’”

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Photo Credit: Kristina Serafini, Tribune-Review
Article: Chris Harlan charlan@tribweb.com and twitter @CHarlan_Trib