Washington making splash at UAH
Published 11:38 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Former Demopolis High standout George Washington has made an impression on his coaches and teammates at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“G’s a great athlete and a great student and just a good kid,” UAH head baseball coach Lowell Mooneyham said of Washington. “He’s just one of those guys you love to be around.”
Washington, who was initially drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers after graduation from DHS in 2005, has taken the indirect route to UAH.
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“I wouldn’t change anything about coming here,” Washington, who went from Central Alabama Community College to East Central Community College before arriving in Huntsville, said.
Mooneyham has seen Washington, the Chargers’ everyday right fielder, develop his game since his arrival on campus. However, the coach credits most of that progress to Washington’s work ethic and unique perspective.
“He’s one of those guys that you’re fortunate you don’t have to do a lot with,” Mooneyham said of Washington. “Baseball is probably more of a stress outlet than anything. You want your team full of guys like that.”
Washington said his attitude toward baseball took a noticeable turn six months ago when he became a father.
“I’ve got a son now who helps me to see that baseball isn’t everything,” Washington said of his child, Gavin Blake Washington. “I think I was taught that growing up. But I think I see that now more that I have a child.”
Washington said his son’s arrival has also had a tangible effect on his on-field performance.
“It actually makes you work harder on the baseball field,” Washington said.
The Charger outfielder, who is hitting .296 on the year with 25 runs scored and 15 stolen bases, doesn’t know if he will be given another shot at playing the game he loves professionally.
“G has some pro tools,” Mooneyham said. “On the field he just brings a lot to the table when he’s on base. In the outfield he does take good angles and routes. If he’s not performing at the plate, he’s doing well in the field. He doesn’t let one affect the other.”
“I don’t know anybody who plays baseball whose dream is not to play professional ball. I really want to,” Washington said before explaining that his wife, Kierra Jones Washington, and son will always be first on his priority list. “I’m not going to just sit there and keep going through workouts when my son needs me.”
While his baseball future is uncertain, Washington knows he is an integral part of the 17-3 Chargers title hopes this season. He said he also knows that everything else will work itself out.
“I see him being a productive citizen and a great father and a great husband,” Mooneyham said of Washington. “I think that’s the most important thing and I think that’s the most important thing for George.”