Abbotsford basketball standout Etienne makes it official, signs with NCAA’s Washington Huskies

Mouat basketball standout Tristan Etienne solidified his commitment to the Washington Huskies last week, signing a national letter of intent

W.J. Mouat Hawks basketball star Tristan Etienne signed his national letter of intent last Wednesday

W.J. Mouat Hawks basketball star Tristan Etienne signed his national letter of intent last Wednesday

W.J. Mouat Hawks basketball standout Tristan Etienne solidified his commitment to the University of Washington Huskies last week, signing a national letter of intent.

Etienne, a 6’10” Grade 12 centre, had given a verbal commitment to the Huskies, an NCAA Div. 1 program, back in July, but had to wait until the NCAA’s fall signing period (which opened last Wednesday) to make it official.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, in a press release, noted that Etienne is “a kid we’ve been recruiting for a long time.”

“We’ve been watching him for a while and he’s continued to develop and get better,” Romar said. “He’s one of the top four or five prospects in Canada. He is a good shot blocker, has really good hands and can also step outside and knock a shot down. When you look at his frame, you can just see that after a year or so of getting on the weights, working with our strength coach, his upside will be huge.”

Etienne is coming off a tremendous Grade 11 season at Mouat. At AAA provincials in March, he averaged 20.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 70.5 per cent from the field, helping Mouat to a fifth-place finish.

The Huskies play in the high-profile Pac-12 conference, and Etienne will join the team in the fall of 2014. It’s rare for a player from B.C. to land a full-ride scholarship to such a major program, and Mouat coach Rich Ralston has called it “one of the biggest signings ever in B.C. high school boys basketball.”

The Seattle-based Huskies have made six NCAA Tournament appearances over the past nine years, including three trips to the Sweet 16. The program has also sent a series of players on to the NBA – from retired stars like Detlef Schrempf and Brandon Roy, to current standouts like Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors), Quincy Pondexter (Memphis Grizzlies) and Nate Robinson (Chicago Bulls).

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