My ‘Jared’s Jumpshots’ blog consists of a random collection of notes that I find interesting as it pertains to basketball in Arizona. That includes the professional, college and high school ranks in this great state which is the mission statement of Sports360AZ.com.
This week, my attention is focused onto the high school ranks as there was good news as well as bad news that have occurred over the last couple of days.
We will start glass half full with the good news. Perry High School Freshman Markus Howard was not just one of the best, if not the best freshman in the state this season on the basketball court, he was one of the best players period. He averaged 23 points, three rebounds, two assists and just under two steals per game along side his brother Jordan getting Perry as deep into the playoffs as they’ve ever been. This week, Howard was named a Second-Team Freshman All-American by MaxPreps. An incredible national accolade and one we have not seen often for a player in Arizona.
I have already written about this freshman, soon-to-be sophomore class that consists of Howard as well as Alex Barcello of Corona and Caleb Simmons at Desert Vista that could make-up one of the best recruiting classes to come out of Arizona in quite some time. This 2014 class was as good as any in recently memory but the 2017 class could have the star power that Arizona hasn’t reached in quite some time.
Howard in particular deserves everything he has coming his way as he is not just an impressive player on the court, he is as impressive person off the court as I’ve dealt with in high school. That stems from covering the sport to also being among the players in the Arizona high school basketball community having grown up and played here as well. If the best is yet to come with this young man, I can’t wait to see it.
There was also some unfortunate news that came down on Tuesday pertaining to AZ high school hoops. The defending State Champion Shadow Mountain Matadors will be without their starting point guard for the entire summer and maybe into the start of next season. Michael Bibby Jr. will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a torn meniscus.
An unfortunate blow for the bright young star who is headed into his junior season and will be forced to miss a year of club ball and summer league high school hoops that could see his already active recruitment reach new heights.
What Bibby and his crew of sophomore’s have been able to accomplish in just two years at the high school level has been nothing short of amazing and have the hopes of recreating the glory days of Shadow Mountain. I wish Bibby a speedy recovery and know from the competitive nature I’ve seen on the floor, he will come back as strong and as hungry as ever.
One final note to bring that came down on Tuesday afternoon. Mesquite’s Zachary Green signed his letter of intent with Montana State. The 6-5 swingman averaged 13 points and four rebounds for the Wildcats this season.