By LARRY VAUGHT
Arkansas freshman Reggie Chaney got to play one season at Findlay Prep (Las Vegas) with Kentucky sophomore PJ Washington and wasn’t surprised when he did so well this season that he’s now headed to the NBA.
But Chaney also has a special connection with Washington’s father, Paul, who coached him at Findlay Prep.
“I still talk to him sometimes. I did before the Kentucky game. He still checks on me and looks out for me,” Chaney said. “I have known PJ since like fifth grade. His dad was the one that got me to play on that (AAU) team and I just built relationships with the whole family.”
Chaney says PJ Washington was “pretty cool” to be around.
“He was like a big brother who always guided me and told me what to do. He’s a leader on and off the court. That’s just how his dad raised him,” Chaney said.
Paul Washington helped define Chaney’s game, too.
“The biggest thing he helped me with was getting out of my comfort zone. He made me do things I was uncomfortable with and got me comfortable doing them,” Chaney said. “He really expanded my game.
“I am not saying he didn’t care what I did but he didn’t like tell you not to do something. He encouraged you to dribble, shoot and all that.”
Chaney said Paul Washington could be a yeller and screamer but in a different way than many coaches.
“He did not do it in a mean way. It’s like more of a hype you up thing,” Chaney said.