High-profile Class of 2023 point guard Armari Carraway, who averaged 21.3 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game for Pueblo last season, has confirmed that he has returned to Fresno after spending the 2020-21 season with the Warriors.
Carraway is enrolled at Fresno’s San Joaquin Memorial High School. He came to Pueblo last season as a distant relative of coach Harry Whitaker Jr., after a standout freshman season at Fresno’s Washington Union High School in 2019-20.
California’s high schools suspended play last winter because of COVID-19 protocol and Carraway was afforded the opportunity to play at Pueblo.
“I am now back home in Fresno but I will never forget about the city and state that showed me the most love and made me feel like as if I was home,” Carraway mentioned in a text message. “I look forward to coming back to Tucson, Arizona in the long run. University of Arizona Men’s basketball, let’s make it happen!”
Carraway, 5-foot-11 and 150 pounds, often mentioned last season that he is a fan of Arizona’s basketball program.
Matched with 6-foot-11 and 225-pound post player Zach Morgan, Carraway helped Pueblo to a 13-3 overall record and a spot in the 4A state playoffs under Whitaker, who was in his first year as head coach.
“He’ll bring that guard position back to Tucson,” Whitaker said of Carraway last season. “Arizona had that point guard atmosphere. That’s one thing I keep telling Armari. That’s what I love about Arizona, they always had that — we call it the Point Guard U. — at one point. He would fit into that system as well.”
Carraway is a veteran of the AAU hoops circuit during the summer. He most recently played with Team Rondae Hollis Jefferson of Phoenix.
Here is the full message Carraway sent AllSportsTucson.com about his return to Fresno:
“My sophomore year at Pueblo was great! Competed each and every day at practice. It wasn’t one day at our practice that someone slacked off and didn’t give 100% effort. Our coaching staff was great and they knew a lot about the game of basketball. They educated us about the game in the best way possible. One thing that I loved about this team and my coaches is that all of our focus was about winning. That all we wanted to do is be a winning program. We didn’t care about who scored how many points. We just wanted to put the ball in the hole more than the opponent did. It all started with defense. Our coaching staff and my team were never worried about our offensive end. We had many scoring weapons which included Zach Morgan, the freshman Isiah Hill, Marcus Coleman and myself. My freshman year of high school at Washington Union, I had just came off a loss to get a valley ring in Fresno. I saw plenty of opportunities in Tucson, Arizona and fell in love with the city itself. Decided to attend Pueblo Magnet High School and go for a state championship run. However, during my jumpstart season averaging 21.3 points per game, we fell short in the first round of the state playoffs. This really hurt my coaching staff and my team because we knew we were better and capable of more. Furthermore, I gained a lot of knowledge about the game as far as my passing abilities and on the defensive end of the ball. I would like to thank all my coaches including Coach Harry Whitaker (and his staff). They always told me, ‘We know you can score the ball, but what else can you do? What is going to separate you from the thousands of other guards that play the same game you play and want the same thing as you?’ That gave me motivation just to be DIFFERENT. Being a undersized point guard in the state of California hurt me because I got overlooked. The state of Arizona loved me, my game and jumper, and my name — big time.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District