The Southwest All-American Camp took place this past weekend @ Cortez High School over two days, and featured much of the state's top talent, as well as some top prospects from around the West. This year's second annual event was filled with major excitement after a successful event last year. I joined forces once again with Gregg Rosenberg of Rivals.com, one of the hardest working scouts in the country, to bring a better of version of this event in a second year. We also joined forces with Justin Vargas of Relentless to make this year's event second to none in Arizona.
Last year's inaugural event was loaded with top-rated scouts and this year's event went to another level as such top-rated basketball scouts as Frank Burlison (Burlison on Basketball), Gerry Freitas (The Hoop Review), Chris "Pop" Popoola, Jerina Madayag and Chris Karpman (ASU Rivals.com) each were in attendance for the event - making for maximum exposure for each of the camp's participants.
For so many years in the state of Arizona has been void of many opportunities for Arizona's top prospects to gain maximum exposure to college coaches, scouts and media. As a result, Arizona top club teams and players have ventured out of the state to have an opportunity to improve their college recruitment. This year's Southwest All-American Camp did just that for each of the camp participants, while also establishing a new event that will take the state to another level each year.
While there are many events that take place in the state throughout the year and Arizona's basketball prospects participate in them, often the elite prospects do not play due to a lack of any basketball scouts or college coaches at these events. Top prospects often play in the many events that are held in the state, without any real exposure gained from playing in such events. Last weekend's Southwest All-American Camp proved to be much different as loads of scouts/media attended - raising the bar for exposure events in the state.
While most major exposure events in the West have the same claim, events in Arizona consistently get overlooked by such top-rated scouts/media - forcing Arizona's top-rated prospects to have to travel to other states to gain maximum exposure. This is not the only reason for top basketball prospects to play the game, of course. Players need to play for the love of the game and to develop through playing against good competition, but it definitely helps a great deal. An opportunity to have a great performance and see the benefits in one's college recruitment and possible player rankings are very attractive to today's top prospects.
Our staff is very thankful for the many scouts/media that attended last weekend's event, and are hopeful that we can continue to build on this success in next year's event. The state of Arizona is growing a great deal in the sport of basketball, and events such as this will be vital in the future for helping Arizona's top prospects continue to gain maximum exposure.