Rise of high school basketball in Idaho

CSI Coach Randy Rogers has noticed the basketball culture change in Idaho. He feels that junior college programs might not be on the radar of Idaho’s star playe
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 4:02 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — When you think of high school basketball season, you typically refer to the winter months, but travel basketball clubs and high school teams like to keep their athletes going in the other seasons as well.

Last week the College of Southern Idaho hosted a team camp, where schools like Marsh Valley and Twin Falls scrimmaged. Opportunities like these are great for women’s basketball coach, Randy Rogers, who is trying to rebuild his team after losing 90% of his players.

The biggest loss, All-American and top-ranked JuCo prospect, JoJo Nworie, who just committed to Texas Tech University after becoming eligible to transfer.

“I always tell kids, it don’t matter where you’re from, you can go to CSI, you can go to Idaho, they’ll find you,” Rogers exclaimed. “CSI isn’t hidden on the national stage, from the east coast to the south, they want to know who we have.”

Rogers has noticed the basketball culture change in Idaho. He feels that junior college programs might not be on the radar of Idaho’s star players as they were in the past.

“Some of the former CSI men’s basketball players have come back, they’re doing a lot of individualized instruction, so it’s I think there’s going to be a day when you see a lot of Division I kids come from the Magic Valley,” Rogers added.

There’s a number of younger players drawing interest from not just four-year universities, but Division I programs.

Here is a list of some incoming sophomores and juniors in Idaho with Division I offers.
Here is a list of some incoming sophomores and juniors in Idaho with Division I offers.(Kaly Shippen)

Athletes are putting the Gem State on the map, such as former Burley product Amari Whiting (Oregon commit) or former Century star Isiah Harwell, who’s ranked in the top ten nationally for his class and now transferring to Wasatch Academy for his sophomore year.

Tony Standlee, a graduate of Jerome High School, started the Magic Valley Basketball Club last year to give local hoopers an opportunity to play travel basketball without having to drive two hours to practice. The individualized workouts and commitment to the game are giving local kids an opportunity to play collegiately.

“We’ve been helping kids get to college, there’s a big group coming up, this junior class for boys especially is going to have multiple kids play college basketball and it’s going to be nice they can,” Standlee said. “Also, with the seniors obviously, I can name almost 8-9 in each class that will go to college, it just depends where. In the past, it would have been only 3-4 in this area because we don’t get a lot of exposure, but now they’re getting it.”

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