The school’s search to replace Rick Duckett has now extended past National Signing Day, with interviews taking place over the phone last week — including, reportedly, former NBA player Nick Van Exel, now an assistant at Southwestern Athletic Conference foe Texas Southern.
Washington has continued to bring prospects on campus, even into last weekend, hoping one imagines to restock after a season that ended on a high note with Grambling’s first win in the SWAC Tournament in a decade.
But Washington’s three commitments — and others he’s approached about joining the Black and Gold — have apparently held off on signing, as the school continues to drag its feet on the hire.
Word on campus continues to focus Van Exel, a second round pick out of Cincinnati in 1993 who played his first five seasons with the los Angeles Lakers. Van Exel was traded to Denver in 1998, where he had his best statistical year (17.7 ppg and 8.5 apg) in 2000-01, and made stops with Dallas, Golden State, Portland and then San Antonio before retiring in 2006.
After enjoying prep and junior college hall of fame inductions in 2009 at Wisconsin’s St. Joseph High and Texas’ Henderson County JC, Van Exel was hired as an assistant at Texas Southern and is serving under Tony Harvey.
TSU (17-16 overall; 11-7 in SWAC) topped Washington’s Grambling squad 60-57 this season in the semifinals of the season-ending basketball tournament at Bossier, before falling to Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the championship match.
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