Oakland men's assistant coach Saddi Washington reminisces on MAC heyday
“It was probably the most unbelievable moment in my career,” Washington told MLive.
Western's tournament hopes were thought dead after losing to Miami (Ohio) in the first round of the MAC tournament.
"But then to get an 11 seed at-large bid against an ACC program like Clemson and then have the game that we had against them, it had the whole city, the whole campus, the whole university on fire," Washington told the publication. "And it helped tremendously that we were in that Chicago region, so that all of our supporters could come and watch us. It was an awesome experience.”
He also mentioned the number of AAU programs siphoning kids out of state, leading to in-state schools, such as MAC programs, missing the NBA lottery-type talent it had in the mid-90s.
Even as Washington's name swirls every time there's an assistant coaching vacancy in Michigan, he said he's at home at Oakland, and doesn't want to uproot his young children. But he did say it would be interested in returning to Kalamazoo in the future.
“I’m always hopeful that one day, when things come into line, yeah, definitely, who wouldn’t want to come back to their old alma mater and coach and be a part of the family again?," he said. "Once a Bronco, always a Bronco. I still feel connected.”
Washington enters his fifth season with Oakland Nov. 12, when the Grizzlies tip off against Final Four contender West Virginia.