1 on 1 with Ray Arvizu
Phoenix, AZ – For as many years I have lived in the Valley, one team always seems to have players. This being the Arizona Stars, a Phoenix based team that travels the country at times and plays in a number of aau tournaments and sends several players to the NIKE Top 100 camp in St. Louis, MO every June.
Ray Arvizu is the man behind The Arizona Stars. Arvizu does so much for his players off the court I had to do a story on Arvizu for his work in the community.
Let’s get to know Ray Arvizu as Area Codes Basketball goes one on one.
AC: WHERE ARE YOU FROM & RESIDE NOW?
RAY: I am born and raised most my life in Phoenix, Arizona
AC: WHAT ARE YOU KNOWN FOR OR YOUR JOB?
RAY: My profession is Advertising. My family has owned an advertising firm for 20 years.
AC: WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR TEAM?
RAY: I oversee the Arizona Stars Elite programs and coach the 17u National Team.
AC: HOW DID YOU GET INTO COACHING?
RAY: My family has deep roots in basketball. My father played locally at St. Mary’s high school then went on to be an All-American at Glendale Community College for two years earning a scholarship to Grand Canyon where he won a national championship in 1978. Needless to say ball has been in my life since my first breath. I actually starting coaching when I was 15 years old at various recreational leagues while playing in high school. I loved playing the game but for me coaching was the ultimate thrill. I continued to coach during the summers while I was playing in college and decided after my sophomore year of college that I was going to coach instead of play. At the time my family thought I was crazy but hey that’s how much I love to coach!!
AC: WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS IN COACHING?
RAY: My father has always been the most important mentor in my life on more accounts than basketball. I was introduced to club basketball while playing for the Atlanta Celtics under coach Wallace Prather who mentored me in my early coaching career till he passed. Now I don’t have any specific mentor in the game but am always learning from coaches that I talk to. I truly believe that you can learn something from every conversation that is about basketball.
AC: WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU BRING IN HELPING THE YOUTH?
RAY: I am very knowledgeable about the game. I am stickler on discipline and fundamentals. I believe the most important quality that I bring is the mental aspect of the game. I am one of the biggest competitors you will meet. I preach to be competitive in every aspect of life! Sometimes the hardest thing for an athlete to do is to transfer the competitive energy into school or work. I help mentor young men on how to be successful at whatever path they choose.
AC: HOW DOES YOUR TEAM LOOK?
RAY: This year I am very happy with the efforts of the team. It is a pleasure to watch them compete not only in the games but in practice. Everyone on our team is getting good exposure at many different levels of college including 3 player that have multiple D1 offers.
AC: WHERE CAN COLLEGE COACHES & SCOUTS WATCH YOUR TEAM IN JULY?
RAY: We are finalizing our schedule this week but looks like we will be attending the following events:
Pangos Summer Sweet 16 July 13-15
Cream of the Crop July 19-22
Las Vegas Classic July 25-29
AC: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL COACHING AND CLUB/AAU COACHING?
RAY: Well I have had the pleasure of coaching both for a high school and club. High school takes more time and preparation for games. As a high school coach you have to keep track of grades, character, and whatever off court issues may arise. Club ball is more of an accelerated time frame. There is not much time to prepare and get details in. It is important as a club coach to get an identity for your team and drill the players as to what you want on the floor. We also have to figure out chemistry and who plays well with each other in a short time frame. Finally the most important difference is the level of exposure in club ball. As a player the one thing you should look at when choosing a club team is what exposure each team provides for their players.
AC: NAME YOUR TOP PLAYERS YOU HAVE HAD IN YOUR PROGRAM AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
RAY: The Arizona Stars is a rich program in history we have been competitive in club ball for 21 years. There has been many good players to come out of our program.
AC: WHERE DO THE YOUNGER PLAYERS NEED TO IMPROVE ON MAKING BASKETBALL BETTER?
RAY: I believe the most important thing a player should work on is to change their sense of entitlement. Other then physical aspect of the game young players should work on ball handling and being able to create shots for themselves and their teammates. The more versatile you are as a player the better chance you have of fitting in wherever you play.
AC: DO YOU MONITOR YOUR PLAYERS ACADEMICS DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR AND HOW?
RAY: Yes. Grades are an important factor of recruiting. We try to recruit players with GPA’s that are higher or are not in trouble of clearing NCAA. We continually check up on the players and their parents on if they need our help with tutoring or any kind of school items.
AC: HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU? (TWITTER OR FACEBOOK)
RAY: My twitter is @rj_arvizu and Facebook is Ray Arvizu. Arizona stars twitter is @arizona_stars if you want to follow on recruiting with players and game scores for the program.
AC: ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY?
RAY: First I would like to thank Arizona Stars coaching staff: Joseph Broderick, Andy Arvizu, Tim Howard, Jason Ramos, Killy Mims, Mike Sandoval, Chuck Bowers, Lou Rugolo, Curtis Ekmark, Carlo Camacho, Greg Heisser and all the volunteers. I also would like to thank all that supporters of the Arizona Stars. It takes a lot of hours and money for kids to be involved in club ball and I would like to thank everyone that is involved across the state. Lastly I would like to thank areacodes for all that you do for Arizona ballplayers.
Thank You Ray Arvizu for the 1 on 1 interview and the time you put into the youth in Arizona.