Now for 20 full years, our Arizona Preps website has been covering Arizona high school and junior college basketball in the state. After thousands of stories and articles about the state's top players, prospects, teams and coaches, the Arizona Preps.com website has reached a milestone in the state of Arizona, and nationally among basketball scouts, writers and media - reaching a 20 year anniversary of operations.
Many in the Arizona basketball culture credit Arizona Preps Senior Editor Anthony Ray with developing much of the basketball culture that we have in the state today. Ray began his scouting service, the Arizona Hoop Review, in 1995, which began his coverage of the state's top basketball prospects. Ray's work would attract the attention of 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 fall of 1999.
In October of 1999, Ray would be introduced to Rivals.com, and then sign a contract with Rivals to begin the Arizona Preps website, a first of its kind in covering Arizona basketball. Arizona Preps would quickly become the voice of Arizona basketball, behind the daily coverage of the state's best basketball prospects, and also the activity on the message boards, which would quickly develop a life of its own among Arizona basketball enthusiasts. Soon, the message boards on Arizona Preps, would become the voice of the Arizona basketball community, as such message board personalities as "Pecker" would develop, which would carry the message board's popularity. The message board content daily would include post-game analysis, thoughts and very interesting conversations about observations from Arizona basketball.
The Arizona Preps' message board community would become so popular and well-attended daily, that the Arizona basketball culture would pick up major steam and begin to develop through the excitement created through the site's message boards, which allowed for players, parents and fans to have a voice. The voice created by the message board's basketball community would soon reach new heights and would become a major issue for the Arizona Preps' site, as posts on the message board would soon have to be monitored daily for safe content, as message board users would begin to get out of control. Consistently, the Arizona Preps' staff would be contacted about removing posts on the message board, which might have disrespectful content about others. This behavior on the message board by users began to increase, until the site changed the Message Board community, by removing many of the registered users from the site.
Today, the message board community for Arizona Preps is no longer what is formerly was in the early 2000's, but it once had a huge impact on the development and formation of today's current Arizona basketball community and culture.
Where the Arizona Preps' website has had its biggest impact has been its daily coverage of Arizona's top prospects, through the creation of stories and articles about Arizona's basketball student-athletes. Since the first article written in early October 1999 on then Peoria High School senior prospect Anthony Hull, the website has gone on to write more than 5,000 different stories (reached milestone in 2017) on Arizona's top prospects. At a time when Arizona's best basketball prospects had little to no coverage on their exploits on and off the floor, the Arizona Preps' website became a daily influence on Arizona basketball community.
"I woke up every day to see what was on Arizona Preps when I was in high school," said former Arcadia High School basketball product and current University of Portland assistant coach Chris Buchanan. Buchanan served as an intern for the Arizona Preps website for (3) years, while writing for the website for a total of (5) years.
The Arizona Preps website was once regarded as the true voice of Arizona basketball, as the basketball community would flood the site daily for coverage of the state's best basketball prospects. Today several more sites have followed suit, and the Arizona Preps site is just but one of several sites that continue the pursuit of raising awareness about the state's top basketball prospects.
The Arizona Preps' website though continues to flourish and remain as a cutting edge leader in our daily and weekly coverage of the state's basketball community. As the website now enters our 21st year of operations, the Arizona Preps' organization will now begin a new era, as we will feature more writers on the website this high school and junior college basketball season, a different format of our pre-season Arizona Preps Fall Showcase event, and a new Arizona Preps Recruiting Academy that we will soon be releasing in November (2019).
The Arizona Preps website plans to be more than just a website as we move forward - rather a vessel to provide valuable education around the recruiting process. The Arizona Preps website has been a stable for 20 years now in producing quality content of Arizona's top basketball products, while maintaining and building on an Arizona basketball culture that has become one on the rise in the West, and in the country as well, as high-level basketball prospects continue to move to the state of Arizona.
Through our many stories about the state's best basketball prospects, many of Arizona's best basketball prospects have profited a great deal, as our daily coverage and evaluations have helped to lead to many of the state's best basketball prospects gaining maximum exposure to college coaches, which has resulted in hundreds of college scholarships. It takes a village to raise a child, and the Arizona Preps website has been a valuable player over a 20-year span in aiding in the recruiting process of today's best Arizona basketball prospects.
As we move forward with the Arizona Preps website, and continue to add value to the Arizona basketball community, thank you to so many over the years for helping this website to be possible and remain productive over the years. We would like to give a big thanks to Scott Anderson (former Marketing Director) and Jacki Granger (Assistant Director) for their hard work over the years for site, as well as the many writers over the years that have helped to produce loads of content on Arizona's best basketball prospects.
A special thanks goes out to three former Arizona Preps' staff writers who helped the site a great deal throughout their respective times writing for the site, Chris Buchanan, Gregg Rosenberg and Justin Vargas. Both Rosenberg and Vargas have now teamed up to host numerous high-level events, but they both began their careers with the Arizona Preps' website. After (5) years of writing for the website, Buchanan earned an opportunity for himself as an assistant coach for the University of Portland.
Thank you to all of the thousands of supporters of the Arizona Preps' website over the last 20 years, and we hope to continue to make it another 20 years, with your help and continued support.