High-level prep basketball will enter the Bluegrass. Aspire Basketball Academy will leave North Scottsdale, Ariz. and relocate to Louisville.
Aspire Academy will become the first major prep-school in Kentucky and plans to bring in some of the top talent in the country and play a national schedule against other prep-school powerhouses.
In 2016, now Co-Excutive Director of Aspire Academy, Bryan Just planned on starting a prep-school in Kentucky. The initial plan was a grassroots movement to build a team in Louisville and start competitive basketball in the fall of 2016, but when the opportunity presented itself for Aspire to relocate, Just decided to be patient.
"Aspire Academy created a reputable brand in one year through hard work and doing things the right way," Just said. "I am excited to work with them to continue building that brand and creating something special."
A traditional basketball prep-school will bring in top talent across the country and help give those student-atheltes more exposure on the national level. While it's called a prep-school, Aspire Academy's anticipated students will attend DeSales High School in Louisville, while playing basketball for Aspire.
Kentucky has landed several prep-school players, most recently P.J. Washington from Findlay Prep in Nevada.
Aspire Academy participated in the Grind Session last year, a league of prep-school teams that play in events across the country. Benton and Paducah combined to host three Grind Session events during the 2016-2017 season.
The Grind Session may feature over 50 teams in any given year, but 16 core teams, which includes Aspire. Other featured teams include Hillcrest Prep, Prolific Prep and 22 Feet Academy.
Last year Jeremy Kipness was the head coach and Michael Kipness the Executive Director.
Michael Kipness is thrilled to bring Aspire to Louisville.
"This is a match made in heaven," he said. "Louisville is a perfect fit for Aspire Academy and the vision Bryan and his board have are parallel with what we have already began building."
It's unclear how many current Aspire players will make the move to Louisville with the team. Last season Aspire featured a National Team and a Post Graduate Team. The first was the traditional high school team that competed on the Grind Session circuit, the second featuring only fifth-year high school seniors. Only the National Team will exist in Louisville.
Last year the Grind Session circuit started in November.