In what can be described as a real “David and Goliath” story, the newly founded Bella Vista College Prep men’s national basketball team will take on No. 1 Findlay Prep Pilots, Friday at 6:30 p.m. MST at Arizona Christian University followed by No. 6 Prolific Academy on Saturday. The marquee match-ups in the desert are part of The Grind Session presented by Tanager Sports, and will kick off the Bears’ season as they look to establish themselves early as one of the most elite high school basketball programs in the country.
Findlay Prep, located in Henderson, Nevada, went 34-4 last season. They have an impressive handful of players already committed to several NCAA Div. 1 schools, including Wake Forest, San Diego State and a 7-3 center named Connor Vanover, who is headed to Memphis. But despite a lineup stacked with top- tier recruits and a history of championships, the Bears aren’t deterred as they set their sights on proving they are capable of competing among the best.
“We began preparing to play against the top teams in the country the moment our players arrived on campus,” said Kyler Weaver, head coach of the Bella Vista College Prep Bears national team. “Our practices intend to instill discipline in our players, practicing Monday through Friday, 6 – 8 a.m. with additional individual workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We are very excited for this opportunity and plan to succeed based on the work we have put in.”
Bella Vista College Prep is a small private school located in Scottsdale, Arizona with a proven track record of outstanding academic success. With roughly 70 students enrolled, Bella Vista prides itself on small class sizes and a tailored curriculum that best fits individual needs. Now, Bella Vista looks to couple its strong academics with a premier sports program that includes both men’s and women’s basketball as well as soccer.
“I joined Bella Vista College Prep because of their mission as an academic intuition,” Weaver said. ”They aim to get students academically ready for college and accelerate their learning in the classroom, and in comparison, I am aiming to get my team developed on the court and be ready to compete as freshmen in college.”
The men’s national high school basketball team’s first test will be this Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. as they look to defeat the top-ranked Pilots, and prove themselves as a powerhouse in high school sports. The Bears will rally behind a solid backcourt, with four-star recruit Terry Armstrong leading the way and a defensive presence focused around 7-1 center Rick Issanza.
Arizona Christian University will be packed the weekend of Nov. 17 – 18 with some of the most talented and sought-after men’s high school basketball players in the nation, and Bella Vista College Prep -- in its athletic program’s inaugural year -- will be among them.