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March 8, 2012

Zach LaVine represents everything Huskies want

If Isaiah Thomas was considered the face of the Washington Huskies the past three years, it's safe to say that Tony Wroten owns that distinction now.

In the near future, will the face of the Huskies belong to Zach LaVine?

It's no secret that the Huskies would love to land another Puget Sound area point guard to lead their team.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar is very interested in LaVine, who just finished his junior season at nearby Bothell High School and is about to enter big-time national recruit status.

LaVine has the entire package from exceptional ball-handling skills, a nasty long-range jumper to the sort of athleticism and leaping ability that teases fans as they eagerly wait for the next big dunk.

But he's hardly a Pacific Northwest secret as more than a dozen schools have offered him a scholarship, including Texas and Gonzaga and most Pac-12 Conference schools.

"I still don't even know," LaVine said about naming his top considerations. "It's still up in the air right now."

With Wroten likely leaving Washington for the NBA if not after this season, then probably the next, there will be an opportunity to be the third consecutive local high-profile point guard to lead the Huskies.

But LaVine has some unfinished business to attend to before thinking too far ahead to college.

After scoring 25.9 points per game his sophomore year and 23.5 his junior year, LaVine has a chance to be one of the state's most prolific scorers and continue to put Bothell's basketball program on the state map.

Last season, Bothell, which is known for its football program's success, advanced to the state basketball quarterfinals only a year after finishing 4-16.

"I feel like we had a great run," LaVine said. "Toward the end of the season we started winning games by 10 points per game. We got on a good run. We played our hearts out toward the end. It was a great experience.

"We definitely turned the school around into believing that we have a basketball team as well."

In the process, LaVine became a more recognizable figure around the sleepy town of Bothell, which is about 17 miles northeast of Seattle.

"You have to have the right crowd," he said. "Sometimes little kids would ask for autographs. Some people ask how you're doing. Some people recognize me if you have the right group of people around here."


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