Jaamal Rhodes said it was a difficult decision but he is leaving Sabino High School after coaching the Sabercats this season to their first state title in 30 years to coach AZ Compass Prep at Chandler.
“I’ve been asked why would I leave a chance to win another state championship at Sabino,” said Rhodes, who was slated to have most of his roster back for 2020-21. “The situation at AZ Compass was too good to pass up because pof the way that it is set up. I have a better opportunity to make a player better who comes with a gift for the sport.”
Rhodes indicated that school at Compass ends at 1:30 p.m., which allows him more time to devote to training aspiring basketball players with film sessions, group meetings and practice, “things I couldn’t do before because that would go past 9 p.m.”
“Financially, it was also hard to pass up and the on-site facilities, including the training area, made it difficult to say no. I couldn’t say no.”
Rhodes confirmed he is taking his assistant Jeremy Daniels and his daughter, high-profile Class of 2022 point guard Kam’Ren Rhodes. Other Sabino players might join him, including Class of 2021 wing Kiya Dorroh and guard Kamryn Doty.
“I haven’t decided yet,” Doty said via text message this afternoon. “Still talking about it with my parents.”
Doty has committed to Elon University.
Dorroh, who has committed to Missouri, will take “a few weeks” to decide, according to her mom Kristin Dorroh.
Rhodes and Daniels contacted Lisa Moore, the mom of Class of 2021 forward Alyssa Brown, who has been part of the AZ Supreme AAU team coached by Rhodes and Daniels.
Brown, who has numerous scholarship offers from Division I programs, will stay at Sahuaro, according to Moore.
Madison Conner, a Class 2021 guard who has committed to Arizona, confirmed via text that she will join Rhodes and Daniels at Compass next season. Conner also plays for AZ Supreme.
Rhodes, a video coordinator under former Arizona coach Niya Butts, was 62-30 in his three years as a Sabino’s head coach.
AZ Compass completed its seventh season as a program this year. It is a member of the Canyon Athletic Association’s Open Division. Only three other schools are part of the CAA for girls basketball in the Phoenix area — Tri-City Christian Academy, James Madison Preparatory School and Villa de Marie Academy — but prep schools generally try to schedule nationally after their program is established.
Examples of that on the boys side include Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., and Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix. Findlay, which produced Arizona players Nick Johnson and Brandon Ashley, is now shut down. Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix included Arizona’s Class of 2020 recruit Dalen Terry this season.
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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.