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Griffs add 3 more, class hits 7

Canisius College added three more players to an already impressive recruiting class in junior college transfer Harold Washington, Central Florida transfer Isaac Sosa and Kevin Bleeker from Holland.

The trio is part of a seven-man recruiting class, the largest ever signed by coach Tom Parrotta and his staff. The class includes center Freddy Asprilla, a transfer from Kansas State, forward Jose Agosto from Gatlinburg-Pittman, Tenn., guard Franklin Milian, from Our Savior New American on Long Island and forward Josiah Heath from Irondequoit.

The 6-foot Washington, who last year played at Cecil (Md.) Community College, has been through quite an odyssey the last three years. He played at Quinnipiac as a freshman but in November 2008 Washington was charged with intimidation based on bigotry and bias, harassment and breach of peace.

Washington was allegedly targeted in a racially motivated hate crime in October of that year but was charged with harassing a fellow victim of that incident. Hamden, Conn., police said Washington used Facebook to anonymously harass one of the two other black players allegedly targeted in the first case. He was later expelled from the school.

Washington was placed in an accelerated rehabilitation which according to Connecticut state law is a program that gives those charged with a crime or motor vehicle violation for the first time a second chance, and that person is placed on probation for up to two years. If probation is completed, the charges are dropped. Washington recently completed the program, which included 200 hours of community service, and the charges were dismissed.

Last year, Washington signed with Niagara University but was denied admission after a Quinnipiac official didn't give him a favorable recommendation, according to sources. He later signed with Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne but did not meet university standards and decided to remain at Cecil. Washington will have two years of eligibility remaining.

A native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Sosa ranked third on the UCF team in scoring with 8.0 points a game, and shot 39.2 percent from three-point range. He ranked sixth in Conference USA in three-point shooting percentage.

Sosa started 15 games and scored a season-high 22 points and had six three-pointers in an 85-58 win at Stetson in November. Under NCAA transfer rules, Sosa must sit out the 2011-12 season. He will be eligible in 2012-13 and have one season of eligibility remaining.

Sosa averaged 10.3 points as a sophomore and 8.2 points as a freshman. He chose UCF over an offer from Florida International as a high school senior. Sosa considered transferring last year when Donnie Jones was named coach at UCF but decided to remain for his junior season, a source said.

While Sosa averaged a career best 25.3 minutes a game, he became expendable as Jones pieced together one of the nation's top 25 recruiting classes. Sosa's playing time would have likely decreased because of the presence of Conyers, Ga. shooting guard Kevin Ware, one of the top 100 players in the country.

Canisius may have gotten a steal in the 6-10 Bleeker, who played for the club team BV Noordkop in Holland. Bleeker will remind some of East Aurora native Dave Mallon, who played at Saint Joseph's, because of his ability to work the perimeter and the post. Bleeker also had offers from Tulsa and Cal-Irvine.

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com