Balboa City’s basketball program on the rise despite departure of top national prospect

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SAN DIEGO – In an unexpected move, one of the top national basketball recruits left Balboa City School earlier this month leaving his coach and team surprised and disappointed.

DeAndre Ayton is the No. 1 national recruit for the class of 2017. He left the Balboa City School program October 6 and announced his move to Phoenix Arizona’s Hillcrest Prep on Twitter.

According to Balboa City School, Ayton, who had been in a home stay with Coach Zach Jones’ family for five years, did not have a conversation with anyone on coaching staff or his teammates.

Jones and his team has plans to win championships, despite Ayton’s sudden departure.

FOX 5 joined practice at Memorial Gym in Logan Heights for a look at the team’s newest transfer Jaylen Hands.  Hands was named one of the top five point guards in the nation by 24/7 Sports.

—– —–

An old metal fan rumbles, pumping the unseasonably hot October air through the rafters of Memorial Gym in Logan Heights.

Below, 20 high school basketball players rumble with joy and intensity in a half court scrimmage. They shout, sweat and cheer through every play.

The voice of coach Jones boomed over the constant, rhythmic squeak of multi-colored Under Armour and Nike sneakers, “I need to HEAR you!”

A player in gray swats away a layup from a player in black. High fives abound.

“All that is great, but we’ve got to finish the shot!”

Finish the shot. Finish the practice. Finish the season the way it began: by winning.

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