Kyree Walker, who was named the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year last basketball season, is leaving the Bay Area for Phoenix Hillcrest Prep.
The 6-foot-6 wing will join forces with 6-5 guard Josh Green, who is closing in on 20 major-college basketball offers.
Walker, who has an offer from the University of Arizona, is ranked No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in California in the 2020 class by Future150.com.
Walker averaged 21.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists his freshman season, leading Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic to a 25-10 record and into the California Division II final.
“I want to get him ready for the next level,” said his father, Khari Walker, who added he will be joining Hillcrest’s coaching staff. “It’s the next stage in his life.”
Walker has played club basketball with Green with the Oakland Soldiers, so they’re well-acquainted.
Getting a player of Walker’s caliber helps Hillcrest fill the void that will be left by 7-foot-1 center DeAndre Ayton, who has graduated and signed with UA.
“I like the level of competition,” Khari Walker said. “With us playing in California, it was cool. But each game is different. You might play some good teams, then you might not play good teams. We’re trying to keep the competition as high as possible.”
Hillcrest, sponsored by Nike, plays a national schedule against top prep academies in the country. It has tried to be a member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, but was denied.
“Kyree is a game-changing guard,” said Nick Weaver, recruiting coordinator and co-founder of Hillcrest Prep, which will be in its third season as a national high school team. “Kyree is a great play-maker and scorer. He is the most polished guard in the 2020 class.”
Khari Walker said he will move with his son to Phoenix in June.
“We want to get him adjusted as quickly as possible,” he said.
This will be the second MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year to join Hillcrest. Marvin Bagley III left Tempe Corona del Sol after his freshman year to be part of Hillcrest with his dad, who was hired as an assistant. That was short-lived. They left early in the exhibition part of the season and the family moved to southern California.
The 6-foot-11 Bagley is ranked the No. 1 2018 player in the country out of Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon.