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Girls basketball: FLHS' Rivera finishes career at all-star game

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By Steve Smith

GREELEY -- Most basketball players are happy to be involved in one all-star game, particularly if they are about to graduate from high school.

And then there’s the case of Fort Lupton’s Hilda Rivera. She got a chance to play in a pair of all-star games, one in Thornton (a Colorado 7 all-star affair March 11 in Thornton and the all-Weld County game March 12 in Greeley.

Those were her first games in almost two weeks. Thanks to the use of running clocks for the majority of the games, she played 10 consecutive minutes of basketball.

Twice.

“I was not out of shape because of it,” Rivera said. “Yesterday (March 11), I was kind out of breath. But I got used to it.”

The pace was quite a bit faster than most high-school games. Rivera didn’t object.

“At first, I was slow. I had to get used to the hard presses,” she said. “Then you just get used to the pace and going with the flow.”

Rivera missed the “formal” practice time with the Weld County team. She was participating in the league all-star game the same night. The Weld County all-star practices usually amount to a series of player introductions and running through some basic basketball plays and formations.

Rivera finished with a 3-point basket and a rebound. Her team lost 55-53.

“It’s just about fun,” Rivera said. “We’re going just through the experience. That’s what really matters.”

This was Rivera’s last basketball game. She signed a letter of intent to play softball at North Platte Community College in Nebraska.

“It was the way quicker than I thought it would be,” she said. “It was fun. I highly recommend it for the next seniors coming up.  I loved playing at this level. You meet new people who are going to college, just like I am.”