No. 24 prospect George Washington III, son of two former professional basketball players, commits to Ohio State

Top-25 recruit George Washington III of Christian Academy of Louisville (Kentucky) has committed to Ohio State, he told ESPN on Wednesday.

"Ohio State has always been at the top of my list," Washington said. "They were my first offer. There was no point in continuing to search when I had already found the school I wanted. I was looking for a school that needed someone like me to produce and make things happen at a position of need. I love their style of play."

Washington, the No. 24 prospect in the Class of 2023, is the highest-ranked prospect to commit to Ohio State since D'Angelo Russell, also a Louisville product, in 2014. He's the highest-ranked recruit Chris Holtmann has reeled in since becoming a head coach in 2010. Washington picked the Buckeyes over scholarship offers from the likes of Louisville, Auburn, Cincinnati, Xavier and others.

At 6-foot-2, Washington is considered one of the best shooters in the 2023 class, converting 40% of his 3-pointers this summer on the Nike EYBL 16U circuit on a large volume. He was largely an unknown prior to this past summer, not being ranked by any of the major recruiting services before bursting onto the scene while playing for John Lucas' JL3 Elite team.

"I never really expected to get all these offers," Washington said. "Until recently I wasn't an athletic player. In the summer everything took on a life of its own. When the latest batch of rankings came out in August, I checked the very end of the list, didn't see my name, and thought they had left me off. I started going through the names of some of the guys I know to congratulate them, and kept scrolling up and then saw my name at No. 24, which was shocking. I couldn't believe it."

Both of his parents played professional basketball in Finland after meeting at Abilene Christian in Texas. His mother, Jackie Bucher, was an All-American and inducted into the school's Hall of Fame; his father, George Washington Jr., spent eight years on the coaching staff of the Texas Longhorns women's team. Their daughter, Lashann Higgs, was a McDonald's All American who enrolled at Texas and played professional basketball in Spain last season. Their two youngest sons, Jackson and Jayden, play with Washington at Christian Academy of Louisville.

Washington said he believes the premium that teams are placing on shot-making and shooting versatility have been major keys to his rise up the rankings.

"People valuing shooting so much more these days. That's something my dad drilled in me since day one. I've heard some comparisons to Jamal Murray. My ballhandling and shooting are the first two aspects of my game that stick out to people as a combo guard who is interchangeable at the 1 and 2. My playmaking has made major strides and my bounce has been taking steps. I'm 2-3 inches from hitting my head on the rim now. My move up the rankings means I need to work harder now because I have a bigger target on my back."

Washington is only the second ranked player in the ESPN Class of 2023 to commit to a college thus far, joining Caleb Foster who will be heading to Duke.