LOS ANGELES – Long before Dylan Andrews became one of the three newest basketball recruits for UCLA last fall, his former coach Breeze McDonald saw something special in him.
“I realized Dylan was special when he was 12 years old,” McDonald said, referring to the time she coached the Compton Magic AAU team. “He single-handedly beat an Earl Watson team by himself – he scored every bucket in the second half for his team, and that’s when I saw he had that ‘it’ factor that he does not like to lose or want to lose.”
The 6-foot-3 point guard began playing high school basketball in 2018 at Windward School in Los Angeles, where he grew up, and quickly made a name for himself as a 4- or 5-star recruit for college teams. While at Windward, Andrews received Division 1 offers from such powerhouse programs as UCLA, Arizona, Kansas and Oregon.
In his senior year, he took his talents to the AZ Compass Prep Dragons in Chandler. Leaving L.A. to play the game he loves was a difficult but necessary step.
“Him understanding that he needed to go away to focus on a goal that everybody is really supportive of him, and I think it shows a lot of high character,” said McDonald, who’s also Andrews’ godmother. “A player (who’s) able to deal with adversity and it shows that a player really wants to follow their dream, and I think that Dylan exudes that.”
In Arizona, Andrews surrounded himself with some of the most talented high school players in the country: point guard Kylan Boswell, who has committed to the Arizona Wildcats in 2024; forward Mookie Cook, who’s headed to Oregon Ducks in 2024; and shooting guard Chance Westry, who has committed to play for the Auburn Tigers in 2023.
In fact, every player on the AZ Compass Prep roster has committed to a Division 1 team in the next two years. Spotting and developing talent is part of what makes the program in Chandler so popular with young star athletes.
“When I first saw him, I knew that he was a kid that had special talent, was a vicious competitor and he’s going to get on the court and compete, and I saw that day 1,” said Pete Kaffey, the associate head coach and the program director for AZ Compass Prep.
The Dragons finished with an impressive record of 25-5 in 2022. Andrew averaged 13.6 points, 2.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game, according to the AZ Compass Preps website. Andrews announced early in the season that he was signing his national letter of intent for UCLA.
— Dylan Andrews (@dylan_andrews4) April 16, 2021
“It feels good to know that when the season is over that everyone is done and committed and that they are on their way,” Kaffey said.
The UCLA Bruins finished this past March Madness with an upset loss to University of North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Andrews will be coming into a program with high expectations next year and fans are eager to see what Andrews brings to the team.
“They are getting a dog, they are getting a kid that loves to win, and he’s from here (LA),” McDonald said.