Coal Ridge’s Gerber signs with Lancaster Bible College |

Coal Ridge’s Gerber signs with Lancaster Bible College

Coal Ridge senior forward Hunter Gerber, center, signed his national letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA. With him is left to right: (front row) brother Brady, mother, Aimee and father, Jeff. (Back Row) Coal Ridge Athletic Director Ben Kirk, brother Austin, brother Chase and Coal Ridge boys basketball head coach Paul Harvey. (JOSH CARNEY / POST INDEPENDENT)

The greatest player in Coal Ridge boys basketball program history will have a new home next season.

Senior forward Hunter Gerber, who owns the school’s scoring, rebounding and steals record in a career, signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday afternoon to play basketball this fall at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pa., signing inside the friendly confines of the Titans’ gymnasium in front of friends and family.

“My decision wasn’t solely basketball,” Gerber said. “I knew heading into this process that as much as basketball means to me, I have my whole life ahead of me. So I chose Lancaster because I really felt like I fit and made friends instantly. I just felt like myself there. I wanted to get an education through Biblical Viewpoint and I wanted to play basketball for the Lord, so that’s why I made the decision.”

Following the completion of a stellar career at Coal Ridge that culminated in a second straight 3A Western Slope League regular season title and yet another berth in the 3A state playoffs, Gerber will move on to bigger and better things with the Chargers under the direction of head coach Zach Filzen.

What the Chargers will be getting is a guy that’s willing to do whatever it takes to win, whether that’s carrying the scoring load or playing defense against the opponent’s best scorer.

But while basketball is a game without borders or distances, the move to Lancaster is a big one for Gerber.

“Yeah, I’m a little nervous about it,” he said. “Most kids can’t wait to get as far away from their parents as they can, but with me, I’m the opposite. I want to stay with my parents and my brothers and watch them grow up. It is pretty far, but I have some family there. But I’m still nervous.”

Fortunately for Gerber, he not only has family in the Lancaster area, starting with former Coal Ridge girl’s soccer head coach Micah Heron, but he also has a family connection with Lancaster Bible College Vice President Josh Beers, and his brother Joel, who is not affiliated with the school. Both played college basketball against Gerber’s father, Jeff, at Northland International University, which is now closed. Pete Beers, brother of Josh and Joel, is the athletic director for the Chargers.

Having that background in basketball at the collegiate level allowed Jeff to help shape Hunter into the player he is today, starting with a great basketball IQ and a sheer love for the game. Over the last four years, Jeff has had one of the best seats in the house watching Hunter become one of the top players in the state in 3A, leading to a selection in the Colorado High School Coaches Association’s All-Star game in June.

“You just feel great for the kid,” Coal Ridge Head Coach Paul Harvey said. “He’s worked so hard, both on the floor and in the classroom, that you just can’t feel great for him. We’re going to miss him a lot here; he’s been a huge part of this program for the last four years and has really helped build the culture here. But I’m just lucky I got the chance to coach him. He’s just a great person and made everyone around him better and he made basketball enjoyable.”

Once the games are finished, Gerber will turn his attention towards his new program and teammates, but during the signing day at Coal Ridge High School, Gerber was able to take some time and reflect on what he accomplished in the blue, black and white of the Titans, both on and off the floor.

“I’ve been reflecting for a long time, even during the season,” Gerber said. “These years here have been crazy. They’ve been so good to me and I’m really going to miss it here.”

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