After a long road of developing the school's basketball program over the last 8 months, second-year head coach Ray Weathers and his new talented coaching staff will open up their season on Friday evening at home against Calvary Christian Prep School (CA). Calvary Christian will face the program's National High School team on the evening, in what should be an exciting match-up.
AZ Compass Prep will now join the ranks of newly developed prep programs in the state, as the program will feature a new National High School team, while also providing a high school team that will compete in the CAA Division against other charter schools. The school's high school program will compete in Division-III for the CAA, and will look to be very competitive this season, after winning a conference title last year in Division-I.
The school's high school team will be led by the play of 6-foot-6 junior forward Kade Maddock, 5-foot-11 junior Connor Nesselrote, 6-foot junior guard Shane Van Huizen and 5-foot-10 junior guard Larry Booker, with several key members from last year's team joining the team after the football season.
The program's National Team will be led by a very talented group, as the team is loaded with top-rated talent from around the country. The group will be led by the play of gifted 6-foot-6 senior guard Both Gach, a native of Minnesota. Gach is as good a prospect as there is in the state's 2018 class, and will become a highly sought after recruiting target in the spring for many college programs. Goch was regarded among the top 3 overall prospects in Minnesota before he left the state.
Goch will be joined by the strong play this season of 6-foot-7 ultra-athletic senior forward prospect Stephon Gabriel. A native of New Jersey, Gabriel is unlike any other prospect in the state, as a result of his sheer size, strength and athleticism. He is a highlight reel dunker and plays with excellent intensity. Look for Gabriel to raise many eyebrows this high school season with college programs at every level.
Milwaukee native, 6-foot-4 senior guard Dwayne Walker is a nice talent with an excellent shooting stroke with range, and very good overall athleticism. Walker will be a major factor for the success of this year's team, since he is a combo-guard prospect that will see major time at the point position. Against strong competition, Walker will need to be consistent to allow this team to maximize it's potential. Walker is an excellent sleeper prospect for the spring. Walker averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds as a junior last season in Milwaukee.
6-foot-7 combo-forward prospect Meekness Payne is a vital ingredient for this year's team, as he defends several positions on the floor and can score inside and out. Payne has been very consistent with his play this pre-season, so he will look to have a big breakout season this year. Payne is also an excellent sleeper prospect for the spring, and could play himself into a nice division-I offer late.
6-foot-1 sophomore guard Jaylin Anderson is a rising stud in Arizona's 2020 class, and is among the most athletically gifted and skilled guards already in the state. Anderson poured in 30 points in the team's first exhibition game of the year, and he will start for the team at the point position.
Detroit native, senior combo-guard Carrington Wiggins is an electric scorer and is capable of putting up points in a hurry for this team. He will see time at both guard positions this season, and will be a vital part of the team's success, as a result of his ability to shoot the basketball and provide instant offense. He is also an excellent defender and plays with very good energy.
6-foot-6 junior wing DJ Hawkins, 6-foot-7 junior post Takari Fields and 6-foot-8 senior forward Keron Bailey will both provide excellent depth for the team in the frontcourt, while 5-foot-10 sophomore guard Keyson Upchurch will provide depth in the backcourt.
This year's team will look to establish a successful season for a prep program that has been around for more than 17 years, but is new to the national/regional prep basketball scene. With the recent additions of new basketball talent to the school, a serious commitment to player development and academics by the staff, and also serious leadership in teaching life skills to the players, AZ Compass Prep is the new kid on the block, but will soon become a major force in the West for producing top-notch basketball prospects.
Notes: AZ Compass Prep's National High School team will face numerous top-rated prep programs this season in their first year, including Findlay Prep (NV) two-different times, and also Impact Academy (NV). The program will also compete in the top division of the Takanian Classic in Las Vegas, NV, in December.