CORBIN — University of Kentucky basketball fans of all ages waited in excitement at the Corbin Arena Sunday afternoon as they had an opportunity to meet PJ Washington Jr.
Washington, a sophomore, was a star forward for the Wildcats men's basketball team in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and now has announced he will be entering his name into the 2019 NBA Draft and signing with an agent.
Members of the Big Blue Nation turned out to get autographs and photos with Washington as Corbin was his first stop on his signing tour with Athlete Essentials.
Aubrey, 9, and Emersyn Miller, 13, of Corbin, both were excited to see how tall the 6-foot, 8-inch Washington was in person. Their dad, Junior Miller, said they are big Wildcat fans so he brought them to the Arena for their chance to meet him.
"I've watched every single game," Emersyn said.
Aubrey said Washington was her favorite Wildcat on the team this year, while Emersyn's favorite was Reid Travis. With both Washington and Travis having played their last games as Wildcats, the Miller sisters were sad to see the season end.
On Sunday, Washington said he is working to prepare for the NBA Draft by staying healthy and getting in his workouts.
After declaring for the NBA Draft after his freshman year, he removed his name from consideration and decided instead to return for his sophomore season.
"Just trying to get better each and every day," Washington said of his preparations for entering the NBA Draft this year.
"I'm just happy and excited, I really can't wait," he added.
Some of his most notable achievements include being chosen as a NCAA Consensus All-America Third Team selection and being named to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team by both the league’s coaches and the media.
He also led his team in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (7.5), according to the University of Kentucky's men's basketball roster.
On Sunday, Washington said he was happy to do the signing tour to give back to the fans who have supported the team all season and put smiles on their faces.
"Thank you for always supporting us, it really means a lot," he said.