Returning and prospective members of Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball program started preparing for the 2014-15 campaign in March.
"It takes the spring and summer to get ready for the upcoming season," head coach Darryl Dickson said. "Obviously, the foundation is set. The kids know what to expect. We have a good opportunity to make some noise in the WAC."
Central Valley's AAU roster consists of the following players: Daevon Brown, Andres Calderon, Edward Calderon, Nimrat Chahal, Jaron Dickson, Manuel Garcia, Parker Griffin, Robert Preciado, Inayat Sahota, Alexis Villa, Joshua Villegas, Nathaniel Perine, Josh Sidhu, Simron Singh and Devon Bolivar.
Daevon, Andres, Edward, Nimrat, Jaron, Manuel, Parker, Robert, Inayat, Alexis and Joshua suited up the 2013-14 Central Valley varsity boys hoops squad.
The Hawks posted a program-best 22-7 record, qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time and finished second overall in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 9-3 record.
Nathaniel, Josh and Simron played for the WAC co-champion JV Hawks basketball team this past season. The Hawks compiled a 22-5 overall record and tied for first in the league standings (11-1) with Central Catholic.
Bolivar transferred from Modesto Christian last school year.
Ryan Donnelly, Kendel Johnson, Ja'Quan Gardner, Juan Manriquez, Diego Sanchez and Milton Uti were all lost to graduation.
"The big thing is getting the younger guys used to the rigors of varsity basketball," Darryl Dickson said. "They're getting better. Everybody is working hard."
Hawks players have been practicing and lifting weights three and four days, respectively, out of the week.
Central Valley has competed in seven tournaments over the past three months, finishing first once, second three times and third once.
The Hawks beat all four of their opponents while finishing in first place at the Pacific AAU National Qualifier Championship Tournament, April 26-27, in Sacramento.
Central Valley took third at the Jam On It Memorial Tournament, May 23-25, in Reno.
Jaron Dickson poured in 35 points during the Hawks' loss to eventual-champion Play Hard-Play Smart.
"It was a tournament we could have won," coach Dickson said.
The Hawks won three of six games at the Stanislaus State team camp, June 27-28.
"We've had some ups and downs," coach Dickson said. "Overall, it's been a real successful season for us. We've done some things well. Our guards are playing exceptional. We got to get better play inside. We're improving. That's what's important."
Central Valley will compete at the Jam On It Academy West Coast Nationals later this month in Las Vegas. The Hawks won three of five games en route to a third-place finish last summer.
"I don't want to go to Las Vegas without playing for two weeks straight," Darryl Dickson said. "I'll put a scrimmage together for July 12."