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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oakland men's assistant coach Saddi Washington reminisces on MAC heyday

Soon to be inducted to the Western Michigan hall of fame, OU men's assistant Saddi Washington spoke to MLive about playing in the MAC during its salad days during the 90s, as well as having one of the best games of his career in the NCAA tournament, leading the Broncos over Clemson in the first round of 1998's Big Dance.
“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.

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