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A few weeks ago, the AZ Compass Prep Dragons were introduced as one of the newest teams to join the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference. The announcement came just days before the Dragons’ second consecutive appearance at Geico Nationals in Fort Myers, Florida.

The NIBC is a conference comprised of some of the top-ranked high school basketball teams in the country. Sunrise Christian Academy were crowned league champions in the inaugural season of the conference this year and the conference featured 12 5-star recruits in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 classes. Those 12 players were spread out among five different NIBC teams.

Along with AZ Compass, Long Island Lutheran also joins the conference which now brings the league total to 10 teams. NIBC Commissioner Rashid Ghazi released a statement at the time of the announcement saying that “AZ Compass Prep’s rise to national prominence, combined with their commitment to excellence, expands the depth and reach of the NIBC to the west” as the Dragons join Wasatch Academy (Utah) as the only teams in the West that are in the league.

AZ Compass G Dylan Andrews goes up for a layup over Montverde's Dariq Whitehead during their Round 1 matchup at Geico Nationals (Photo: Griffin Greenberg)

The Dragons finished their season with a 25-5 record and ranked 10th in SCNext’s Top 25 High School basketball team rankings. This puts the number at seven teams that are ranked Top 10 in the nation (SCNext) that are also in the NIBC. This season, AZ Compass won the Signature Series championship at the City of Palms classic but lost in the first round of Geico Nationals to Montverde Academy, the eventual champions of Geico Nationals.

The success of the Chandler-based program in recent history has allowed the Dragons to shine in the spotlight. Head Coach Ed Gipson holds a 72-0 record at home in his time with the program and the team has had multiple big-named players in college and beyond including TyTy Washington (current 2022 NBA 1st round draft prospect) and Josh Primo (San Antonio Spurs).

This most recent AZ Compass team also holds a large role in how the program was able to join the NIBC. AZ Compass Program Director Pete Kaffey constructed a powerful team this past season. Dylan Andrews (UCLA commit), Chance Westry (Auburn commit), and 5-star juniors Kylan Boswell (Arizona commit) and Mookie Cook (Oregon commit) were just a few of the names that highlighted the squad that had the potential to go 11-deep on the court.

AZ Compass F Mookie Cook is introduced during Round 1 of Geico Nationals (Photo: Griffin Greenberg)

With eight of their 11 players graduating, the Dragons will have a much different team for next season. However, many expect them to build back even stronger and continue to compete at a high level in the NIBC for the league championship and for the team to make another push at Geico Nationals.

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