(Photo courtesy of @Zamwu_)
FOGGY BOTTOM – The international pipeline remains strong in Foggy Bottom, with 6-8 forward Zamoku Weluche-Ume being the latest in a long line of players from overseas to commit to George Washington.
NEWS: Zamoku Weluche-Ume has committed to George Washington, a source told ESPN. The 6'8 forward plays for the London Lions and attends Barking Abbey School. Intriguing long-term addition for Chris Caputo in the A-10. pic.twitter.com/k9xc1rfp3s
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 8, 2023
Weulche-Ume, who hails from England, spent the past season with the London Lions of the British Basketball League. At just 18 years of age, Weluche-Ume was by far the youngest player on the Lions. He averaged 1.8 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists, and shot 21.4% from three in 10.2 minutes per game for the Lions.
The Lions are the top team in England’s top flight league, and Weluche-Ume played alongside bonafide NBA talent like former Wisconsin star Sam Dekker, longtime journeyman Kosta Koufos, and Miye Oni, who most recently played for the Utah Jazz. Weluche-Ume also attended the Barking Abbey school, which is known for their elite basketball academy.
“I feel like playing with these guys, it made me think a lot faster,” said Weluche-Ume. “Our coaches were also really big on defense, defense wins games and so I feel like that’s helped me as well.”
In his professional debut when he was just 16, Weluche-Ume, led the Lions’ Division One team, mostly made up of under-19 players from Barking Abbey, who had to play instead of their senior team because of COVID contact tracing, to an upset victory over the Surrey Scorchers in the BBL Cup. He scored 19 points, grabbed five rebounds, and blocked four shots.
Weluche-Ume should add even more positional versatility, flexibility, and athleticism to the frontcourt, a continuing trend in head coach Chris Caputo’s offseason personnel decisions.
“I feel like one of the main things the coaches see in me is my defensive potential. They see me as someone that can guard all five positions,” said Weluche-Ume. “Also just transition. I love to run and get the highlights. I love to dunk on someone.”
After Weluche-Ume’s commitment, GW’s roster, both for next season and for the future, is beginning to take shape. He will join freshmen guards Jacoi Hutchinson, Trey Autry, and Christian Jones, redshirt freshmen forwards/wings Darren Buchanan and Garrett Johnon, sophomore wing Benny Schröder, redshirt sophomore wing Max Edwards, redshirt junior forward Keegan Harvey, and fifth year guard James Bishop.
Discussing what he thinks his role on the team next season will be, Weluche-Ume said, “I think I’ll be a three and D [guy], super impactful on defense.”
With NBA aspirations, Weluche-Ume knew that he had to make the jump from playing in Europe to the collegiate level in the United States.
“I feel like where I want to be and the levels I want to play at you have to be accustomed to the US play style and I feel like college is the best place to be, where you get to that quality education of course, we’re also playing against top competition.”
Weluche-Ume only seriously considered two schools, GW and A-10 rival Davidson.
“It felt like home,” said Weluche-Ume. “The play style and development plan the coaches had for me, I feel like GW is a good place for me to grow not only as a basketball player, but as a man.”
GW now has three scholarships left to fill. Look for them to target at least one post centric player and an additional experienced ball handler to pair with Bishop in the backcourt.