Hazleton, Pa. - Jonte Washington from New York City finishes up his career at Hazleton as a four-year member of the men's basketball program. Known as one of the team's hardest working players year after year, Jonte transitioned from a guard to a forward for his senior season. Accepting the challenge of guarding the opposing team's big men, the move allowed Washington to work his way into the regular rotation during the 2019-20 season. "He is a big reason for our success on the court and helped our team reach the post-season for the third consecutive year", Head Coach Jeff Rush said. "Even more so, Jonte performs well in the classroom and is a highly respected individual on our campus. A real leader for us on and off the court and I know he's got a bright future."
Jonte was named the John Fritz sportsmanship award winner for the 2019-20 basketball season and has twice been named to the Dean's List during his pursuit of a degree in Administration of Justice. Upon graduation, Jonte plans on pursuing a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice and ultimately land a career working for a government law enforcement agency.
Jonte sat down with us (virtually of course) for a quick Q&A:
What impact did basketball have on you as a person?
It helped me develop a strong work ethic and has me thinking about getting into coaching someday. It also taught me the importance of treating my body well including working out and nutrition.
What advice do you have for younger players and recruits?
Stay focused on your academics and be a team player no matter what. Whatever sport you play, you need to work hard and push yourself and your teammates to be better all the time.
What was your favorite moment while on the basketball team?
After losing Shay over the summer, it was important to come back and honor him at our first home game and throughout the season. It was great to have old teammates came back to celebrate his life. We got to show just how much he accomplished while he was here and the impact he had on his friends and teammates.
Are there any teammates, coaches or family you want to recognize for having an impact on your collegiate career?
I definitely want to thank my family. Whether it was with basketball or school, they've helped me get to where I am today. I also want to thank all my coaches and especially my teammates. It's been great to build so many relationships over the past four years.