Brothers join forces on the court for the first time as Miners
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
Sophomore guard Julian Washburn will be playing along side his younger brother, freshman forward Chris Jr. for the first time as Miners in the upcoming men’s basketball season.
Julian and Chris are the sons of former North Carolina State player, Chris Washburn Sr. who was drafted third overall in 1986 by the Golden State Warriors. Chris Jr. committed to UTEP in January and said that his brother playing for the Miners was one of the biggest reasons he decided to come to El Paso, after graduating from South Grand Prairie High School.
“He is the best defender I know by far, he has great low post moves. He can come inside and take it out and score a jumper, he has crazy athleticism,” Chris said. “Every time I try to guard him, he has a counter move for it, he is great taking defenders, great all around player.”
Since they were young, Chris and Julian played against each other, having no clue of what the road would bring for them in the future. Now, both of them feel motivated to help each other to keep improving.
“It’s crazy because I never thought me and my brother would play together, so I’m very excited about next season,” Julian said. “I’m very happy with coach Floyd who gave him the opportunity to come play with me.”
On June 4, head coach Tim Floyd announced that the men’s basketball team will play the hardest schedule in school history. Both Chris and Julian feel thrilled with the challenge of their first season playing side-by-side.
“We’re playing games against great opposition and bringing them to the Don,” Julian said. “I feel El Paso should be very excited about the upcoming basketball season. I think they are going to see a lot of good games in the court.”
The Washburn brothers feel the team has improved from last season and said that their goals for the 2012-13 season are to win the Conference-USA Tournament, get to the NCAA Tournament to compete with the best and try to make a deep run.
Julian acknowledged that they have several key points they need to improve on in the next couple of months to be completely ready for the upcoming season, such as being able to win away from the Don Haskins Center. He also said they need to improve and learn how to close out games to avoid giving the other teams a chance for a comeback. The Miners finished with a 1-11 record in away games.
When it comes to improving himself, Julian said that he has to step up, score more and encourage his teammates to keep working hard. Also, he believes he has improved his free throw shooting, claiming he has been making 80 percent of his attempts in practice.
On the other hand Chris pointed out that last season the team only had a six-man rotation and said that the team needed more solutions coming off the bench. He added they need to take more risks to become a better team and also wants to learn as much as possible from his brother so he doesn’t make the same mistakes.
“Playing with him is a big motivation for me,” Chris said. “He’s always been more athletic than me, and I want to keep up with him.”
Next season will bring new challenges to a young team that has 11 of its 16 players as underclassmen. Even though the team will play most of the tougher opponents away from home, they will host teams like Memphis, UNLV, Oregon, NMSU, Marshall, UCF and Oral Roberts at the Don Haskins Center.
Edwin Delgado may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.