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Archive for May 29, 2019

May 29, 2019 — The original “superprep” folds its tent

Last week, it was announced that Henderson (Nev.) International School would be re-opening its high school and start competing in international sports.

This means that entity that represented the school in athletics, Findlay Prep’s highly successful basketball team, is on its way out, possibly never to return.

Findlay Prep has been a successful, albeit controversial addition to the U.S. interscholastic system. It operates as a “superprep” school, where the team and its coaches choose a different level of competition from its peers.

The Pilots chose to play a national schedule featuring the best high-school teams that could be assembled, even as the schooling the students received was bare-bones. The school sent 13 players to the NBA; three more could be joining the pros when the NBA Draft is held later this summer.

Findlay never won a state championship: they didn’t have to. The school struck a deal with the powers-that-be in the state of Nevada: the team could co-exist with the school, but could not have any Nevada resident.

Not that it bothered potential recruits, who came from all over to play for the superprep team, whose lone goal was to win whatever “national championship” tournament for boys’ basketball could be organized at the end of the year.

Never mind that most of the half-million boys who play high-school basketball each year have no possible way to compete in these end-of-season tournaments — if not because of travel restrictions, then by restrictions on the number of games a team can play in one season.

That takes out many states in the union, which always made me wonder what Findlay and their peers in the “superprep” basketball world were so obsessed about if not every team was eligible to play in a “national championship.”

Especially since the National Federation of State High School Associations still, I believe, holds the trademark over the designation “National High-School Championship.”

It’s something to consider once the next “superprep” starts lording itself over a particular competition.