Surrounded by more than 50 family and friends at the Seattle Rotary Boys & Girls Club, basketball star Tramaine Isabell signed a national letter of intent with Washington State last November. “This is a dream come true,” he said at the time.

Five months later, Isabell requested and received his release by the Cougars.

“It was a family decision,” he said Wednesday. “I think it’s what’s best for me and it’s the route that my family wants me to take.

“Now it’s about figuring out where I’m going and figuring out what the future holds.”

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Losing Isabell is a big blow for the Cougars and new coach Ernie Kent.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound point guard led Garfield High to the Class 4A state title in March and was named the tournament’s MVP after scoring 34 points in a 68-59 win over Richland in the title game.

Isabell, who spent the previous three years at Lakeside High, is considered a three-star prospect by major recruiting sites and was expected to take over WSU’s point-guard duties next season.

“We wish Tramaine the very best,” Kent said in a statement released by WSU. “The future of Cougar basketball is bright. I like the group of young men we have in place now, as well as what we will add in the near future with our available scholarships.”

Washington State’s 2014 class includes guards Nyaires “Ny” Redding and Jackie Davis and junior-college forward Aaron Cheatum. The Cougars have two available scholarships.

Isabell spoke highly of Kent and WSU, while acknowledging his decision to leave was prompted after the school fired coach Ken Bone in March.

“It’s not all about basketball,” Isabell said. “I feel that’s the key. … I’m looking for a perfect fit.”

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278


On Twitter @percyallen