College Hoops

Jalen Washington expected to be cleared in September

Apr 4, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis looks on during the first half of the game against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2022 NCAA men's basketball tournament Final Four championship game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The UNC basketball freshman will look to be ready for the season opener on Nov. 7, the beginning of a year with high expectations for the Tar Heels.

According to CBS Sportsโ€™ Jon Rothstein, UNC basketball freshman and former-four star recruit Jalen Washington is expected to be cleared to return to all basketball-related activities by the end of this month.

The Gary, Indiana native suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in the summer of 2021, causing him to miss his senior season at West Side High School.

Washingtonโ€™s ACL injury was the second of his young career, as he previously tore his right ACL in January 2020.

When he committed to North Carolina in July of 2021, Washington was still rated as a five-star recruit and was the No. 13 overall recruit as a sophomore. As he exited the prep ranks, he finished as a four-star recruit and the No. 48 prospect in the class of 2022.

With the return of four starters from the National Runner-Up finish and the addition of Northwestern transfer Pete Nance, Washingtonโ€™s role as a freshman is unclear. The ability to slowly work him into game shape and into the rotation is a luxury for the Tar Heels.

Washingtonโ€™s ability to score at a high level from mid-range and his excellent ball handling skills for a big man certainly bodes well for his chances to see the floor when in game shape.

The power forward is part of the No. 17 rated recruiting class for Hubert Davis and company, joining Seth Trimble and Tyler Nickel, after Will Shaver reclassified and redshirted in the spring of 2021.

This certainly is encouraging news for the UNC basketball program as they prepare for the 2022-2023 season.

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