After helping Phoenix North High School to consecutive state titles, Robert Arvizu had a chance play Division II or junior college basketball this season.
Not surprisingly, he instead took an offer to try out for the Arizona Wildcats.
Arvizu, who spent the summer in Tucson and officially joined the team as a walk-on last week, chose UA in part because of a close relationship with freshman guard Daniel Bejarano, his teammate and roommate for more than six years.
He also loves a good challenge.
North coach Joseph Bustos said he remembers Arvizu as a slow freshman who had little to offer the varsity team, and watching him quickly improve.
"He'll do whatever it takes," Bustos said. "I challenged him his freshman year - he was definitely not the fastest kid. But by the end of his sophomore year, he was making some (defensive) stops. When there are challenges, he will meet those challenges. That's his strongest asset."
By the time Arvizu was a junior, he had developed into a three-point shooting threat who fell into a shooting slump in the 2009 state 5A-II tournament. Bustos said he worked repeatedly on his shot after practice, and the coach said he encouraged Arvizu to keep shooting and not worry about it.
In the final seconds of the championship game against Ironwood Ridge, Bejarano was double-teamed - and the ball went to Arvizu, who connected for a game-winner.
"I was supposed to get that shot, but they were so focused on me, Robert was real open," Bejarano told the Star after that game. "We're a family so I trust all the rest of the players on the court. So I didn't force it, found the open player."
Arvizu and Bejarano are virtually a family off the court, too. Bejarano lives with Arvizu's family. Ray Arvizu Jr., Robert's older brother and a mentor of Bejarano, said the two have shared a room since they were 11 years old and refer to each other as brothers.
"I just wanted to play with DB - that's basically why I came here," Robert Arvizu said. "Also we have a good opportunity for winning and I came here because of the coaching staff."
Arvizu, 6 feet and 185 pounds, averaged 9.8 points and 6.1 assists last season at North High School. He will wear No. 5 while Bejarano will wear No. 2.
Turner moves up visit
Sacramento guard Josiah Turner has moved his scheduled official recruiting visit up from Oct. 22 to Sept. 17, possibly giving the Wildcats a better chance to nab the Top 25 guard before he takes a scheduled visit to Kansas on Oct. 15.
Turner's mother, Doris Ward, said her son agreed to take the visit earlier because a scheduled visit to Oregon on Sept. 17 was pushed back to Oct. 1.
Arizona "called asked if they can move it up to the 17th," Ward said. "They're very interested in him and would like him to commit."
One of Turner's "recruiters" probably will be newly committed guard Nick Johnson, who played with Turner this summer on the Drew Gooden Soldiers traveling team. Johnson's mother, Michelle, confirmed via text message that her son planned to be in town for Turner's visit.
"I think they've talked about (playing together) but I don't know how recently," Ward said. "They have been in contact all the time."
Turner, a senior at Sacramento High School, is scheduled to begin his official recruiting visits next weekend at Louisville.
• Johnson joined a number of UA recruiting targets in the ESPNU-televised Boost Mobile game in Los Angeles on Saturday, including DeAndre Daniels, Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Murphy and Amir Garrett. Guard Jahii Carson, who recently chose ASU, played opposite Johnson.
• UA players ran a timed mile on Friday that was to determine whether each would qualify for a two-week exemption from early conditioning but the results have not yet been disclosed.