Westwind Prep Academy has been decent in basketball over the years but they are making drastic changes to their basketball program, changes that have local High School basketball coaches up at arms.
Westwind is creating a “national” team that will play Junior Colleges and other Prep academies.
Taking queue from Nevada’s Findlay Prep Academy, the Westwind national team can recruit and play for a national championship, but not an Arizona State Championship.
Westwind plans on creating this team by poaching athletes from other schools. However, that is where they differ from Findlay Prep. Findlay does not recruit ANY players from the state of Nevada. As Findlay coach Michael Peck says, “We don’t want to create enemies in our own back yard.”
Unfortunately, Westwind does not share the same philosophy. They have already had several players from the state of Arizona, and specifically from those in the Greater Phoenix Area, leave their schools and coaches high and dry to play at Westwind. Two players from Desert Vista, John Marshall and Connor MacDougall, as well as Tate and Kye De Laveaga, who left Phoenix Horizon to go play for their father Jeff who is the coach at Westwind.
The controversy doesn’t stop here, though.
Westwind will still have a varsity team that can and will compete for AIA Arizona State titles. Westwind states that its national and varsity teams will be completely separate, but there is no doubt that the varsity team will serve as a feeder club to the national team.
Kids will start transferring from other local schools to the Westwind varsity team in hopes to get promoted to the national team. So with this going on how CAN”T the national team be used as a recruiting device for the school’s own varsity team?
Right now the AIA can do nothing in the way of compliance or regulation. That is until the Westwind varsity team benefits from the national team, which shouldn’t take long at all.
It is yet another black eye on youth and amateur sports, except now the black eye is closer to home for those residing in the state of Arizona.