The 20th Annual Arizona Preps Fall Showcase was held this weekend in fine fashion, as the event was a success - featuring many of the state's top prospects and even some of the nation's top talent. The 20th annual event was filled with some of the state's top high school programs and also some of the state's top prep school programs. A different format from year's past, the event was very exciting this year and made for a great event for the many fans that attended.
What also made this year's event especially attractive was the addition of some of the state's elite high school programs, as Mountain Pointe High School, last year's 6A State Champion Runner-Up, competed in the event at full strength. While many top programs in the state normally would elect to not to play in such events, Mountain Pointe chose to play in the event to compete against some of the state's top teams/programs. Other top-rated high school programs included St. Mary's, Desert Vista, Liberty and Eduprize.
Mountain Pointe HS played at a high level in the event - winning both of their games in fine fashion, while displaying a pressing style of play that forced many turnovers from their opponents. The intense style imposed by the Mountain Pointe team and head coach Kirk Fauske was amazing, and proved that the Pride will be a force to be reckoned with again this high school season.
What especially makes Mountain Pointe a favorite to return back to the state finals this high school season is the superb and dominant play of 6-foot-9 senior post Jalen Graham. Unlike many top rated performers and prospects that today elect not to play in such events, especially before the high school season, instead Graham competed at the highest level and proved why he is currently rated among the top overall post prospects in America.
For his efforts this weekend, Graham was selected as the Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the high school division in the event. In the event, prep schools competed with one another, and high school programs competed against one another in their own division.
Graham is coming off a terrific spring and summer where he received honors this summer while traveling with a loaded and heavily-Nike sponsored Team Why Not club program, as he was selected as the Nike Peach Jam Defensive Player of the Tournament - an amazing honor for Graham. Graham helped lead Team Why Not to a runner-up finish at this year's Nike Peach Jam on national television - catching the attention of many college coaches in attendance and watching on television. As a result, Graham became one of the hottest sleeper prospects in America. No prospect in Arizona's talented 2019 class of rising senior prospects saw their college recruitment soar more this summer.
This fall, Graham chose to give a verbal commitment and will sign with Santa Clara University and head coach Herb Sendek and his staff. Graham chose Santa Clara over numerous division-I offers from such programs as Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Nevada, Kansas State, Fresno State, Grand Canyon, Boise State and Weber State.
While it seemed that Graham might wait late to make his college decision, he chose to pull the trigger early and is now off the recruiting board after finding his fit.
"It was just a good fit for me," stated Graham. "I really enjoyed my visit there and I really like their staff."
Graham is a true gem - a prospect with loads of upside and potential for the future. He blossomed into a high-major division-I recruit over the past several months, and saw his stock rise more than any other prospect in the state of Arizona - almost in America. Graham is a lengthy and athletic post prospect that will only continue to improve a great deal over time, and possesses tremendous upside as a player. His future is extremely bright and the sky is the limit for him.
Congratulations to Jalen Graham and the Mountain Pointe program on his performance this weekend, and also good luck to them this high school season as they look to win it all this season behind the new leadership of first-year head coach Kirk Fauske.