McDaniels named The News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year
With a tweet shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Federal Way forward Jaden McDaniels announced he was staying home to play for the University of Washington.
After remaining quiet throughout his the recruitment process, McDaniels waited until late at night to make his low-key announcement. Along with the tweet, McDaniels released a 40-second video on Instagram with the caption, “Sorry for the wait.” The basketball signing period ended on May 15 so McDaniels signed a financial aid agreement with UW.
“Jaden is an elite player, tremendously athletic for his size and is going to be a great addition to our class,” said Husky head coach Mike Hopkins. “He has an unbelievable work ethic and a great skill set for his position, as he can do it all.
“Getting an incredible player from our state is not only special but he is a proven winner and has developed into not only the top player in the state, but one of the best in the nation. He is the perfect fit for the culture we are creating here as we continue to build the UW program and we couldn’t be more excited to see him in purple and gold.”
McDaniels’ commitment gives the Huskies their second five-star recruit in the Class of 2019 as center Isaiah Stewart signed in April. 247Sports ranks Stewart (No. 3) and McDaniels (No. 8) among the top-10 players in their class. Both were named 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans.
McDaniels’ recruitment reportedly came down to UW and Kentucky although he also listed San Diego State, UCLA and Texas among his finalists. The 6-foot-9, 185-pounder averaged 23.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game this season as Federal Way finished third in the Class 4A state tournament.
Along with Stewart, McDaniels joins four-star guard RaeQuan Battle (Marysville) and three-star guard Marcus Tsohonis (Portland) in the 2019 class. The Huskies’ class is now ranked 10th in the country and No. 3 in the Pac-12 — behind Arizona and USC, respectively — by 247Sports.
UW also brought in Quade Green, a former five-star point guard who transferred from Kentucky. Green will be eligible at the start of the winter quarter.
In its 2020 mock draft, NBADraft.net predicts that both Stewart (No. 2) and McDaniels (No. 14) will be top-15 picks.
The strong 2019 recruiting class will help the Huskies reload after the loss of four starters — assuming Jaylen Nowell remains in the NBA Draft — and a key bench player from last season’s Pac-12 regular season championship team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.