It was an epic evening on the campus of Phoenix College on Saturday evening as tournament organizers Justin Vargas and Gregg Rosenberg released their first Grind Show In The Desert event, which featured some of the top overall prospects in the state from the 2021 and 2022 classes in action. The game was highlighted on the evening though by a match-up between some of the state's premier 2021 prospects, as they would face a loaded AZ Compass Prep team in what would be a very exciting and impressive contest.
The atmosphere on the evening was tremendous as the building was filled with spectators and also basketball media, scouts and club organizers. With so much talent in the gymnasium competing in two scheduled games on the evening, a dunk contest and a three-point shooting exhibition, the building was electric.
The final game on the evening featured The Show Academy, an all-star team comprised for the event of top-rated prospects from the state's 2021 Class, matching up with an AZ Compass Prep team that is absolutely loaded with division-I talent. The AZ Compass Prep program has their best overall talented team in the program's young basketball history, as this year's group has many new faces, but each one with a strong college following. While the program has had several top-rated prospects change schools recently, Compass is still absolutely loaded and will be among the most talented prep programs in the country this season.
The Show Academy would feature top-rated junior prospects, 6-foot-4 junior guard Ty Ty Washington of Cesar Chavez HS, 6-foot-8 junior post DaRon Holmes of Millenium HS and 6-foot-11 junior post Carson Basham. The three prospects would play at a very high level in the game, and prove that each of these (3) prospects are worthy of every bit of college recruitment that they are currently receiving.
Compass Prep would feature many different division-I prospects, led by 6-foot-2 junior point guard Frankie Collins, 6-foot-5 junior guard Josh Primo, 6-foot-4 senior guard Xavier Dusell, 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward Sincere Parker and promising 6-foot-8 junior wing Maxwell Lewis.
The match-ups between Frankie Collins and Ty Ty Washington, and also DaRon Holmes and Maxwell Lewis were highly anticipated before the game, as such match-ups are very rarely seen in the state in such organized contests in the past. The ability of tournament organizers to make these match-ups possible, as well as the overall game itself, was a sight to behold and one that created a lot of fanfare on the evening.
There would be a very explosive start to the game, as Compass would quickly build a big 10-0 lead in the contest, as the high school all-star team would look to adjust early to Compass' high level of defensive intensity in the early going. After several big dunks by the Compass team, the Show Academy would weather the storm and begin getting out in the open floor where Holmes and Basham would finish plays in transition. After a couple three-pointers in transition by Holmes, and dunks by Holmes and Basham in transition, the Show Academy would maintain pace with Compass.
Then Ty Ty Washington would get it going and take over the offensive attack for his group of all-stars, and help his team take the lead early in the second half. After several key baskets late by Washington, he would convert two free-throws with seconds remaining on the clock to give his team a 75-74 victory.
Overall, there was simply loads of division-I talent on the floor in the contest and there were no losers on the evening, as both teams competed at a high level and brought a level of intensity to the game that was delightful. The first game on the night, which featured some of the state's top prospects from the 2022 Class, was also very enjoyable to watch as Paradise Honors HS 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Nate Pickens earned MVP honors (stay tuned for top performers on the evening).
One thing is for sure, as a result of this evening. There is absolutely loads of division-I talent now in the state.