Blake Lupe is the son of Emil and Cheryl Lupe of Whiteriver, Arizona. Lupe is a Junior at Alchesay High School and has been a starting member of the Alchesay Falcons Boys Basketball Team for two years. In the post season of high school basketball, Lupe has been selected to play for the Arizona Heat Basketball, a tournament organization that recruits top performing high school athletes and prepares them to compete against the top athletes throughout the United States.
“Blake has tremendous talent. He is always willing to work as a team and is committed to doing his best on and off the court. I admire his dedication to the Falcons and his ability to give every practice and every game all of his focus and energy,” said Kyle Goklish, Head Coach for the Alchesay Boys Team.
His passion for basketball is in his blood. Growing up on the Fort Apache Reservation, Lupe was surrounded by his dad, uncles and cousins who loved to play basketball. “I can’t remember when I started playing. It’s like learning to walk, many of us we don’t remember, and we just know we started walking. For me, I have always played basketball. My mom was probably one of those Apache moms who dressed me in NBA jerseys and a pair of Jordan’s the moment I was born. I have always found myself with a basketball in my hands and shooting hoops,” said Lupe.
As a starting member of the Falcons varsity team, Lupe gets his inspiration from his Apache people and family who overwhelmingly attend games to show support for the Falcons. He said, “I love it when I look into the crowd seeing my people cheering and smiling and telling the team they are proud of us. I see people stand in line for games sometimes for 5 or 6 hours to watch us play. Falcon fans are die-hard and dedicated. Knowing the support and dedication from the community inspires me to practice harder and to always do my best.”
Being selected to play for the Arizona Heat Basketball was a victory itself. AZ Heat recruits high school athletes who played for Division 1-4 schools in the regular season. Each recruit must be college bound, maintain a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and is required to take the ACT or SAT test before being recruited. The mission of the AZ Heat is education through basketball and to foster personal development of every player.
“Its an honor to have such talented Apache youth to add to the diversity of Arizona Heat. Blake made the Top 10 and will play in his first tournament March 28 and will then play in Anaheim, California April 10-12 where top college coaches will be present to watch the talent of these athletes. We will be hosting a fundraising game at Alchesay High School in the near future to raise money for travel expenses and provide a very good showcase game for the community,” said AZ Heat Head Coach Elliott Glabman.
AZ Heat is a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), and provides opportunity for young athletes to pursue education through basketball, and to gain experience and exposure to college recruit. For Lupe, being selected to play for AZ Heat is a very big honor, hoping to show his athleticism and sportsmanship to college recruits and to play against other players who have similar goals.
As a high school junior, Lupe’s immediate goal is to be selected to play for the Arizona All Star team as a senior and then attend college, where he intends to play collegiate basketball and receive a bachelor’s degree. “I want to get my education and I want to play basketball. Of course my dream is like everyone else’s who plays basketball, and that is to one day play for the NBA,” said Lupe.
Family and fans can follow Lupe’s journey with AZ Heat Basketball by visiting www.azheatbasketball.com.