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October 20, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Malik Dime picks Washington

Malik Dime made it official Monday and gave a verbal commitment to Washington.

The 6-10, 220-pound forward center at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa was also considering Iowa State, Rutgers and Arkansas.

Dime said Washington junior Quevyn Winters, his former Indian Hills teammate, and UW assistant T.J. Otzelberger played a big role in his recruitment.

Dime, a native of Senegal, averaged 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 30 games last season. He shot 65.3 from the field and 55.6 on free throws.

Dime joins a 2015 recruiting class that includes Rainier Beach High 6-6 wing Dejounte Murray, Eastside Catholic 6-7 wing Matisse Thybulle, Pleasant Grove High (Elk Grove, Calif) 6-8 forward Marquese Chriss and David Crisp, a 6-1 point guard who starred at Rainier Beach last season and will attend Brewster (N.H.) Academy this school year. ranks Washington 10th among the 2015 classes.

Here is the transcript of the Q&A with Dime.

(Heard you had an important announcement this morning. Can you tell me about that?) “I just made a choice and decided that I’m going to finish my last two years of school at the University of Washington.”

(When did the relationship begin with you and the Huskies?) “It all started with my teammate Quevyn  last year. We were really cool. He was one of the persons that I was coolest the most with. He told me about UW and he was like would you like to play your last years here. He was like we can play together. So I was like it could be a possibility. So then coach T.J. watched me play. He liked my game and he started recruiting me. And that’s what it is.”

(At that time what schools were you considering?) “A lot of schools.”

(As you go through the recruiting process, what schools were you final choices?) “It would be Arkansas, Iowa State, Rutgers and UW.”

(What were the differences between those schools?) “They all recruited me the same pretty much, but the difference with UW and the other schools is they have quarters instead of semesters. And you can take more classes in quarters than semesters and that was the main thing that was in my favor. So I’ll be able to graduate fast and on time.”

(What are you going to study?) “I’m still undecided, but I was thinking about international business.”

(How important is academics for you?) “Academics always come first to me. It’s really important to me because you never really know how long you can play basketball. You never know if an injury is going to end your basketball career or whatever. So academics have to come first every time.”

(If you don’t mind me asking, it sounds as if you have a high grade-point average. Is that safe to assume?) “I wouldn’t say a high GPA. A high would be a 4.0, but I’m in the 3s right now.”

(Shifting to the basketball side of things, how would you describe your game?) “Long. Can run the floor very well. I have a great timing at blocking shots. Great teammate. And coachable.”

(How long have you played basketball?) “When I took it serious, it was pretty much two years ago.”

(How old are you?) “Twenty-two.”

(What sports did you play growing up?) “I was born and raised in Senegal so I played a lot of sports except for basketball. I played soccer, volleyball, handball, karate, taekwando, tennis and all type of sports. I just started playing basketball right before I came to the U.S. and I didn’t really like it until I came to Indian Hills, which is the school that I’m at right now.”

(What was it about basketball that you liked?) “I started getting better. The more I play, the more I get better. I saw people can make a lot of money playing basketball so I was like might as well take it serious because I might have a chance.”

(Is there still parts of the game that you’re learning?) “Oh yeah, definitely. I learn new things every day.”

(How important was your visit to Washington?) “Like I said before my teammate plays there and I know Quevyn would never lie to me about a school. He told me pretty much everything that I needed to know about a school. That wasn’t the main reason why I want to be there, but of course it’s great that he’s there.”

(What do you think about this 2015 class that you’re joining?) “It’s really good to here. When I came to visit I actually met three of them and they were real cool. I feel like they’re going to be some great teammates. I’m really excited about getting there and getting started. Just got to take care of business and graduate on time and go to UW.”

(What type of goals do you have for the 2014-15 season?) “First things first, win the national championship. Last year we went all the way to the national championship game and lost. So this year we’re taking everything personal. We got to win the national championship this year. We can not let it go.”

(I know it’s a ways off, but what goals do you have at Washington?) “Win the Pac-12. Go to a NCAA tournament, get to the national championship game and win it for sure. Everything is possible. You just got to put the work in.”

(What are your thoughts on Washington?) “These past 3-4 years they didn’t do really good, but it’s coming up. It’s definitely in a recovery right now. This year I’m pretty sure they will do good if everybody is healthy. Then next year, it’s going to be really great. That’s for sure.”

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