The new Westwind Prep basketball program is expected to have far reaching capabilities.
Just how far is yet to be understood fully as the Westwind program begins its first year as a national team, but apparently that reach made its way to Ahwatukee Foothills.
According to Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic and later confirmed by Thunder coach Dave Williams, senior-to-be John Marshall and junior-to-be Connor MacDougall are leaving Desert Vista for Westwind.
Westwind, which instituted a self-imposed ban from last year’s Division I postseason because of an ineligible player, withdrew from the Arizona Interscholastic Association for the coming year in order to form a national team that will play in tournaments around the country.
"I don't know what to make of this prep school and what they are promising these kids, but what can you do?" Thunder coach Dave Williams said. "You can't sanction them. I can't believe this is a good thing for Arizona basketball as a whole, but you love (the kids) just the same and you wish them luck."
It has been reported they they are two of six Arizona underclassmen who have decided to transfer to Westwind, which is located in Phoenix near the intersection of Northern Ave. and 19th Ave.
The 6-foot-8 MacDougall, who has received some college attention from Boston College and Rice, was expected to be one of the Thunder’s top returning players after Desert Vista made the state semifinals last season when he averaged 8.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Marshall is a quality point guard who came into his own in the postseason. He averaged 6.0 points and 3.1 assists a game.
Williams said the team will move on and do its best with the players who are coming back like Kyle Pitman, Deonte Harrington, Tyler Dunker and Greg Carter.
"We will not have any drama and plenty of unity," Williams said. "Drama will keep you from reaching your goals. We will not have any of that.
"We love our kids and we think we can win 20-plus game next year and we are going to do it with those player we have on our team."
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.