Arguably, the best player in the Arizona Interscholastic Association joined the AZ Compass Prep High School National Basketball Team.
Tru Washington, the uncle of former AZ Compass Prep TyTy Washington, is leaving Mountain Pointe to join Chandler’s Prep Academy, where he will play at the highest level for high school teams nationwide this year.
AZ Compass has joined the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference, which will be in its second year, with the ability to be on ESPN 17 times.
Point guard TyTy Washington, an NBA first-round pick by the Houston Rockets after playing one season at Kentucky, played his final two high school years at AZ Compass and in his senior year led the team at the semi-finals of the GEICO Nationals on ESPN.
Tru, a 6-foot-3 guard, is one of the toughest players on the field, possibly the best offensive rebounder in the state, who has a quick first step to the basket and creates his own defensive attack.
“In my opinion, there is no other player in Arizona State who is better than him,” AZ Compass Prep manager Pete Kaffey said. “We are lucky to have him in our team. His nephew had a great experience during his time here. I think that helped us.
AFTER:Why are Arizona high school basketball players flocking to prep academies?
“We’re really good friends with Tyrone (TyTy’s dad and Tru’s brother). It’s a shame he’s from Mountain Pointe because they’re really good friends with the coach there. KP ( Kaimarr Price) is doing a very good job. But I think it’s a great opportunity for Tru.”
Washington’s departure could have a domino effect. Price is waiting to see what happens next with guard Mark Brown and the Patton brothers, Kevin Jr., and Kallai, who transferred from Maricopa this summer.
Washington, Brown and the Pattons would form the core of what could have been the favorite to win the first AIA Open Division State Championship this coming season.
Price is taking the high road with the move from Washington to AZ Compass, which is a charter school near Chandler High School.
Washington, a 6-foot-3 guard, has played the past two seasons for Pride, and is coming off a summer in which he could claim he’s the best high school player in Arizona.
“These moves leave a lot of opportunities on the table for other players to play bigger roles for us and do more things than they are capable of,” Price said in a text message. “I look forward to the renewed energy within the program as we pursue another regional championship in a new region and our first state title in the Open’s first year.”
Washington, who played his freshman year at Laveen Cesar Chavez, is expected to be joined by point guard Vincent Delano, who had a strong season last year at South Phoenix-based PHHoenix Prep.
AZ Compass has yet to announce it on social media, but PHH manager John Ortega has confirmed that Delano will join AZ Compass.
Junior striker Gilbert Higley 6-7 Jaevyn Yancey has left to join the AZ Compass Prep High School National Second Team, coached by Erik Hood.
There has been a huge surge of AIA players joining the prep ranks this summer, especially for AZ Compass Prep, which has expanded with two national teams.
Kaffey hoped the AIA would open the door to allow some of its teams to compete with local prep academies, such as AZ Compass.
“The AIA needs to find a way to use our platform and keep their kids,” Kaffey said. “Honestly, we’re not chasing these kids. They come to us. No one is doing negative recruiting. The parents of these kids are calling daily.
“When you build something, they will come. We are a real school. We have 600 children in our school. This school has been here for 17 years. So why not open it. So now some of your best schools like a Perry could play us in the Hoophall. Give us the credentials we need and come up with some rules we can’t take….”
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