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Creighton loses a prized recruit over Coach Greg McDermott’s plantation comment

Greg McDermott's Creighton team advanced to the Sweet 16 last month. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)

Creighton Coach Greg McDermott’s “I need everyone to stay on the plantation” exhortation to his players has cost the school one of its top recruits.

TyTy Washington confirmed why he retracted his decision to attend the Omaha college, which reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 this year for the first time since 1974, last month.

“It was definitely the controversy,” Washington told The Athletic. “I really wanted to attend Creighton. It felt like the situation and the plan Coach McDermott had for me was really good. So it was kind of heartbreaking once I found out what he said. I just felt like the day and age we’re living in — a police officer just killed another young Black man for no reason — him saying something like that, it’s just not right.”

Washington, who starred at A Z Compass Prep in Chandler, Ariz., is the No. 30 overall prospect and No. 3 point guard in the Class of 2021, according to the 247Sports Composite, and retracted his commitment March 11, nine days after McDermott said he recalled telling his players after a tough late February loss, “Guys, we need to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”

He went on to call his word choice “an egregious mistake” and said he had spoken to his players.

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McDermott was suspended March 4, then reinstated four days later.

Washington, a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder who averaged 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the 30-2 Compass Prep team, has gotten feelers from other schools, his father told the Athletic. He listed UCLA, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Oregon, Texas A&M, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kentucky as the interested schools.

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