When I travel down to Tucson, I feel like I am prospecting for gold. There are a lot of talented prospects and coaches who do not get as much coverage in the Phoenix area. Our goal at Arizona Preps is to provide a platform for student-athletes, coaches, and the basketball community to be seen and recognized for their commitment and hard work.
I feel very fortunate to have sat down with legendary high school coach Jim Reynolds of Salpointe Catholic High School. Here is our Q&A:
Q: How long have you been coaching?
A: I have been coaching high school basketball for (41) years - (37) years in Ohio and (4) years in Arizona. (33) Varsity seasons and (8) JV seasons.
Q: Which schools or programs?
A: (4) Years Salpointe Catholic High School Varsity
(25) Years Madeira High School Varsity (Cincinnati, OH)
(4) Years Wyoming High School Varsity (Cincinnati, OH)
(8) Years Mt. Healthy High School JV (Cincinnati, OH)
Q: Why do you coach?
A: It has always felt right for me to be a coach. I enjoy coaching young people and working with them to not only become successful in basketball, but, more importantly, in life. I like the challenge of coaching each team to be the very best that team can be. The relationships with assistant coaches, opposing coaches, players, opposing players and officials have truly been a blessing.
Q: Who are your key players to watch this season?
A: Brady Ramon, Tommy Irish, Julian Riesgo, Myles Hersha, Brett Rosenblatt, Dillan Baker, Canyon Torres and Nico Castaneda are the top (8) players at this time.
Q: How did you establish the culture at Salpointe?
A: The culture at Salpointe was strong when I arrived, due to Coach Holstrom (previous varsity coach) and my current assistant Eric Castillo. We are truly focused on team success rather than individual success. Our challenge each year is to become the best team we can potentially be. Each player, student manager and assistant coach are of the same high value in our program. Our successes are a result of a total program commitment from all involved.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment at Salpointe?
A: Tangibly you can say being State Champions or in the Final Four (3) consecutive seasons are significant accomplishments. I believe my most rewarding accomplishment is the joy you see when our players, student managers and assistant coaches are competing.
Q: What challenges did you face leading into this season due to the pandemic?
A: The pandemic has created so many changes in what used to be a normal season. Playing so many games in such a short span is certainly a challenge. I would say more than anything, one has to have compassion and empathy towards everyone in the program. The day-to-day living over the past year has been unimaginable, and it is imperative that the entire group must be supportive of each other. It has certainly been a joy for all of us to do something we enjoy on a regular basis.
It was a joy to sit down with Coach Reynolds (reigning 4A State Champion head coach). He has continued a strong blue-blood tradition at Salpointe Catholic. He is a great coach and a better human being. We appreciate his commitment in shaping student-athletes. It will be fun following his team as they prepare to defend their 4A State Title.