Arizona Power club ball program hoping for strong ties with local HS coaches
In Sunday’s cover story, I detailed the creation of a potentially-high-impact club basketball program called Arizona Power. One part I couldn’t fit into print was the relationship between the organization and local high school boys basketball coaches.
In many instances, there is a divide between club and high school coaches because of their different philosophies on how the kids should be practicing and playing. The club basketball events are designed for maximum exposure in a short amount of time, so players and coaches often focus on showcasing individual ability.
To more team-oriented high school coaches, it sometimes feels like the players take a step back during these months. However, several people I have talked to recently stressed how much Arizona Power teaches fundamentals and skill development. Furthermore, the club said it has an open-door policy for high school coaches to drop in, and there seems to be a higher level of trust between the program and East Valley coaches.
Mountain Pointe’s Hosea Graham is one of the rare coaches who does both high school and club, and he joined onto Power when approached by Casey Benson’s dad, Tim. He said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar came up to him at a recent tournament to compliment his 17-U white team on how well it played together.
“That’s what differentiates it,” Graham said. “We’re preparing them for when they go back to their school program. We’re increasing their value. They’re working on things that we know high school coaches want them to be working on. It’s not just freelance basketball. It’s team stuff.”
Gilbert Christian coach Jerome Joseph is also helping out Arizona Power, and Graham is hoping to get two or three more high school coaches involved next season.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few years. There has long been a divide between club and high school basketball, but Arizona Power is threatening to blur those lines.