It might be time for the Arizona Interscholastic Association to let in national prep basketball teams.
As only associate members.
And with one big stipulation: They can’t recruit Arizona players to play for their programs.
The national prep basketball landscape has not just popped up but exploded in Arizona. It started with Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix). There was Aspire, which turned into Bella Vista in Scottsdale. AZ Compass went from a charter playing in the Canyon Athletic Association. Now Dream City Christian is starting a new national prep team in Glendale.
Even Powerhouse (PHH Prep) has started a program.
Arizona needs to face it. They’re not going away.
We’ve seen Deandre Ayton come out of shoe-sponsored Hillcrest before becoming a one-and-done out of the University of Arizona and being the No. 1 NBA draft pick in 2018 by the Phoenix Suns.
We’ve seen Bella Vista win a national Grind Session championship.
We’ve seen Findlay Prep in Nevada shutting down at least for this year, while something is starting in Arizona, where the weather is enticing and the facilities are growing.
Powerhouse might be the only team that wouldn’t be considered for AIA associate membership, simply because it makes no bones about taking only Arizona players for its team to play a national grind schedules against prep teams.
All eyes will be watching to see how Powerhouse does this year.
If it works, there will probably be copycat programs popping up. And that could really impact AIA schools with players having more freedom to develop and get exposure in front of college coaches against elite competition.
What then will happen to the talent pool within the AIA?