Moreau Catholic Head Coach Frank Knight:

“The parents were helped out with jobs and his grandfather will be able to move out to live with the family, too. The cost of living from the Bay Area to Phoenix is much different. I told them if I was in their situation, I’d probably would have done it, too.”

MaxPrep’s National Freshman of the Year Kyree Walker,  (6-foot-6 guard),  who played this past season at Moreau Catholic (Hayward, California), tweeted today that he will transfer to Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Arizona.

Walker’s Freshman STATS

  • Games Played – 35
  • Points Per Game – 21.5
  • Assists Per Game – 3.9
  • Rebounds Per Game – 6.6
  • Steals Per Game – 1.6
  • Blocks Per Game – 0.9

Walker’s dad, Khari, will be the team’s new associate head coach.  Another reason given for the transfer, Walker will be reclassifying into the Class of 2019, something he couldn’t have done while still at Moreau Catholic .

In an Arizona Republic story, the senior Walker said:

“I want to get him ready for the next level. It’s the next stage in his life.”

“I like the level of competition. 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 Prep, is sponsored by Nike, does not belong to the Arizona Interscholastic Association and they are ranked in MaxPreps as an Independent team.  Part of the make-up of that group is they are not members of a state  athletic association or compete for a State Championship.

In the same story:

Nick Weaver, recruiting coordinator and co-founder of Hillcrest Prep

“Kyree is a game-changing guard. Kyree is a great play-maker and scorer. He is the most polished guard in the 2020 class.”

When you go to the school’s website, it’s titled as Hillcrest Preps Basketball and under the Education section it reads:

“is proud to offer NCAA-certified high school and college courses through Arizona Connections Academy (online) and Sequoia Choice Precision School (traditional).”

This is the new movement in high school sports, recruiting of ‘blue chip’ prospects to form what many might call AAU teams during the school year.  These schools have no state athletic association rules and guidelines to follow.  This allows them to recruit with a free pass to do whatever it takes to put together a ‘national scheduled’ team. They are breaking no rules, so the sky is the limit.

Some state associations, like Illinois, will not allow member schools to play a school like Hillcrest Prep, some states do allow their teams to compete with them. One school, IMG Academy, is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association, but is not allowed to compete in FHSAA state tournaments. This does allow IMG, a national football power,  some open doors in playing state athletic association teams.  Will the NFHS consider this issue and how to handle it in the future.  This is a very serious problem not to be overlooked by state associations, continuing to  lose top student-athletes to Independent schools continues to increase.

The problem that state associations are facing is that each year new Independent schools are popping up and allowing all of them to schedule and play each other.  This past season at the Dick’s National Championship Boys Basketball Tournament it featured a majority of Independent teams. This fills some gaps of not playing for a state championship and some common ground for the future.

Online education and working out an agreement with local schools allows for schools like, Hillcrest Prep, to provide school work for student-athletes, without having a staff on site.

The changes will continue to take place, what will we see in the future, you may not recognize high school athletics in the future.  Can both survive together, only time will tell.

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