Michigan announces signing of Papa Kante and George Washington III

Michigan announced Thursday morning that it has received National Letters of Intent from class of 2023 prospects Papa Kante and George Washington III.

Here’s the full release:

University of Michigan David and Meredith Kaplan Men’s Basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard announced Thursday (Nov. 10) the signings of top-100 and four-star shooting guard George Washington III and four-star forward Papa Kante to National Letters of Intent for the 2023-24 season.

“Papa and George are tremendous young men who are going to fit into our team and culture with ease,” said Howard. “They come from wonderful families, who we really had a chance to get to know during the recruitment process. Both have a mind, and love, for the game, developing skill sets and the work ethic we like to see with players in our program.”

A 6-foot-2 shooting guard out of Louisville, Ky., Washington III will suit up for Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio, this season, following his families’ move after his father, George Jr., accepted an assistant coaching position with the Dayton women’s basketball program.

Before his transfer for his senior season, Washington III had two standout seasons at Christian Academy of Louisville. In two seasons with the Centurions, he had a 36-23 record, scored 1,346 points (23.6 ppg), made 136 three-pointers and shot 91.1 percent at the free-throw line (328-for-360).

Last season as a junior, Washington III scored 23.4 points per game while grabbing 6.8 rebounds to lead the Centurions to a 20-12 overall mark. Shooting 52.5 percent (244-for-464) from the field, he had 65 three-point field goals. Scoring in double figures in 30 of his 31 games, he notched six games of 30+ points and one of 40+ with his career-high 45 in an 81-79 win over Bardstown (Jan. 8, 2022). He added 212 rebounds with eight games of 10 or more, including a season-high 13 against Central (Feb. 17, 2022).

During his sophomore campaign, he averaged 23.9 points per game, with seven 30+ point games which included a season-best 36 points, twice — Lexington Catholic (Jan. 25, 2021) and Seneca (Feb. 12, 2021). He made a team-best three-pointers and shot nearly 93 percent on free throws. With 4.5 rebounds per game, he had 13 games with five or more and had a season-best nine against Pleasure Ridge Park (March 2, 2021).

In the summer of 2022, Washington III played on the EYBL circuit with All-Ohio Red. He averaged 13.5 points over his 13 game schedule, capping off the summer with 19 points against Team CP3 and Kentucky signee Robert Dillingham.

“George comes from a basketball family,” said Howard. “He is a coach’s son. With all of that, he has grown up around the game. He has that certain mindset for it. We like that. He is crafty and is a gifted shooter and scorer. He has a well-rounded game and we can’t wait to see him suit up.”

Born and raised in Senegal, Kante’s signing marks the fourth international player Howard has sought out during his tenure at his alma mater. Kante joins Franz Wagner (2019-20; Germany), Moussa Diabate’ (2021-22; France) and Youssef Khayat (2022-23; Beirut) as international Wolverines.

Moving to the U.S. in 2019, Kante has been a force at the South Kent Prep School in Kent, Conn. As a junior, he earned All-New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Class AAA honorable mention honors after averaging 15.2 points and helping the Cardinals reach the semifinal of the NESPAC playoffs. Throughout his South Kent career, Kante has 19 games with 10+ points and four games of 20+ points, while tallying six games with 15+ rebounds.

“We are looking forward to bringing Papa into the fold,” added Howard. “He has size, broad shoulders and the ideal frame that could have an impact right away. He is a strong rebounder and loves to block shots. As he continues to add strength and works on all the little details, his offensive game will grow. Coach (Raphael) Chillious runs a great program and is well known for developing his players for that next step.”

Kante, a 6-foot-10 forward who has a 7-foot-4-inch wingspan, played with the N.Y. Renaissance on the 2022 EYBL circuit. He averaged 9.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 13 games this summer. He posted four double figure games with a summer-best 17 against LivOn-Fleur De Lis in May. He also added three double-doubles.

To Top