Senior Editor and Arizona Preps founder Anthony Ray has worked hard daily to cover Arizona's high school and junior college basketball prospects since 1995. Ray's pursuit to improve the lives of Arizona's youth has translated for almost 20 years.
Ray attended Moon Valley High School and graduated in 1991, before becoming a standout player for the Rockets during his 3-year varsity high school career. Ray went on to play collegiately at Lake Forest College (IL) during his freshman year, then played his sophomore season for Pima Community College in the junior college league in Arizona (ACCAC). After a strong season at Pima JC, Ray attempted to walk on at Northern Arizona before giving up his basketball career to raise his daughter.
Ray completed a Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) at Arizona State University in 1995, and then completed an MBA-Masters in Business Administration (Management) at Western International University in 2002, and an MBA-Masters in Business Administration (Marketing) at Western International University in 2014.
After growing up in the state of Arizona and having a superior love for Arizona basketball and Arizona's youth, Ray began his goal of improving the level of basketball in the state of Arizona, and providing valuable scholarship opportunities Arizona's under privileged youth - mentoring Arizona's top boys/girls student-athletes and teaching them life skills.
Ray began his scouting service, the Arizona Hoop Review (an NCAA Approved Scouting Service), in 1995 as a media outlet for Arizona basketball. The report created by Ray was sent out quarterly to many of the nation's top division-I programs, and included an overview of the state's best in high school and junior college basketball. Since then and currently today, Ray is Arizona's most respected College Basketball Scout - helping more than (350) high school student-athletes over the years land Division-I scholarships.
With the Arizona Hoop Review scouting report taking off across the country, the report would reach the hands of a West Coast basketball scout, Jerry Norley of West Coast Hoops. Norley contacted Ray and gave him an opportunity to create an Arizona-based recruiting website, Arizonapreps.com in the summer of 1999.
With the internet becoming a household entity across the world at the time, Ray launched the Arizona Preps site through Rivals.com in August of 1999. Ray was also recognized by Reebok and Grassroots Basketball Director Chris Rivers as the shoe company's National Director of Scouting in 2006.
Ray also organized and operated the Arizona Magic club program for (17) years, as the Magic program became one of the elite club programs in the country, and held hundreds of student-athletes obtain college scholarships at every level. The Arizona Magic also signed the biggest shoe contract in Arizona History with Reebok in 2004. As a coach, Ray formerly coached and developed hundreds of players, including such NBA talents as Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics), Jerryd Bayless (Philadelphia 76ers), Carrick Felix (Dallas Mavericks), Bryce Cotton (Utah Jazz), Luis Ahmundson (New York Knicks / Phoenix Suns), Zylan Cheatham (New Orleans Pelicans) and also a large number of former and current NCAA Division-I, II, III and NAIA college players.
Ray currently holds the position as President for the Arizona Magic Youth Outreach Inc. (A 501 C-3 Non-Profit organization), and helps to raise money to aid the efforts of Arizona Preps - creating annual scholarship opportunities for Arizona's top student-athletes, while teaching life skills and mentoring today's youth. The Arizona Magic and Arizona Preps also collaborate to host and provide funding for exciting annual events, such as the Arizona Preps Fall Showcase (free for all Arizona high school boys/girls basketball programs), which has been in operation each year since 1998!
Ray was also instrumental in aiding in the development and college coaching careers of David Grace (former UCLA, Vanderbilt, Oregon State, San Francisco and Sacramento State Assistant Coach), and recently former Arizona Preps intern Chris Buchanan (University of Portland assistant coach). Grace coached Ray's Arizona Magic program for (6) years and helped develop the program with Ray, while Buchanan worked with Ray for (5) years, before moving on to the collegiate ranks, and also played for the Arizona Magic program during his high school career.
Ray has raised the level of recruiting in the state of Arizona to an all-time level, as many more kids today now have opportunities to attend colleges across the country. Many more people today now have joined Ray's pursuit of creating these opportunities, as there are now basketball tournaments almost year round, basketball training by many different individuals across the state and many travel teams and programs for Arizona's student-athletes to participate on.
Through more than 25+ years in the business, Ray has created a basketball community in the state of Arizona today that is recognized by many across the country.
Ray continues to write stories daily and also take a large number of phone calls from college coaches across the country daily. While there have been many individuals over the years attempt to do what he does, Ray continues to work hard at achieving his purpose in life. Ray has also worked in the banking industry for 25+ years as well, and currently serves as a Vice President for a large local bank. Ray has worked a full-time job since 1995, while also spending hours daily to cover Arizona's top student-athletes.
Ray and his staff on the ArizonaPreps.com website continue to work hard daily on the site - aiding Arizona's youth, boys and girls, in achieving their goals in basketball. The organization's Arizona Preps Internship Program is also quickly developing into one of the top internship programs for sports management and sports journalism interns in the West. To be considered, please email Mason.email@example.com
We hope that you will continue to enjoy our site, which has been responsible for building Arizona's basketball culture since 1999, and we appreciate your continued support in helping Arizona youth "get a shot."
George Courtney - Arizona Preps Director of Operations
George Courtney is a native of Hawai`i and has been residing in Arizona since 2007. He has been on staff since the Spring of 2020 starting as a publisher for Southern Arizona then being promoted to Director of Operations. George is a jack of all trades and brings strong work ethic and energy to our organization. He has an Associate’s of Occupational Studies in Diesel Industrial Technology from Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, AZ; a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ and a Master’s of Arts in Athletic Coaching Education from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. He was also on the Director’s List and a member of the National Honor Society.
George is a former high school coach with nearly (15) years of coaching experience from multiple levels in youth recreational, middle school, high school and competitive club. He is instrumental in organizing, directing and leading the events for Arizona Preps and also the Arizona Magic non-profit organization. One of his biggest accomplishments is expanding the Arizona Preps Fall Showcase to (102) high school programs in October (2020), growing the organization by adding personnel, increasing the platforms for student-athletes to gain maximum exposure and expanding our community outreach.
Aside from work, George is a father of two children (Kailani 10, Anthony 8). He enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, sporting events, custom cars, and cooking. He looks forward to continuing to serve the community by expanding the organization’s outreach and positively changing lives.
Mason Maynard - Arizona Preps Director of Marketing
Mason Maynard, our Director of Marketing, has more than (12) years of experience running marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. Mason played his high school basketball in the West Valley of Phoenix Arizona at Mountain Ridge High School, and is a product of the Arizona Magic Youth Basketball organization. After graduating he took his basketball career to Loyola Marymount University, where he was named the Freshman of the Year. After a coaching change at LMU, he transferred to Azusa Pacific to finish his playing career. After college he became a high school basketball coach for (5) years in Atlanta Georgia.
Mason's first job outside of basketball was still in sports, being an on air talent for a local FM Sports radio station. Had a stint of being the college basketball analyst and morning show sports talk segment for a morning talk show on V103, Atlanta’s number one hip hop station. After that, Mason moved into field marketing for Comcast where he would create events to better educate new and existing customers on how the equipment and technology works. These events ranged from small lunch and learns to large trade shows, this helped round his marketing skills out in different environments around the country.
We look forward to Mason operating and organizing all future events with Arizona Preps and the Arizona Magic Youth Outreach.