Grand Valley’s Rigsby is Female Athlete of the Month |

Grand Valley’s Rigsby is Female Athlete of the Month

Grand Valley senior guard Kylyn Rigsby earned the PI's December Athlete of the Month for her standout play on the court as well has her strong drive off the court.
Josh Carney / Post Independent |

With her future set in place, Grand Valley senior guard Kylyn Rigsby has been working to focus on just enjoying her senior season, both on and off the court.

She’s done just that, allowing herself to play carefree basketball with her close friends while also setting herself up for success off the court by dabbling in sports communications in her community.

For that, Rigsby was selected as the Post Independent’s female Student-Athlete of the Month from nominations by area athletic directors.

Despite being one of the best players in the 3A Western Slope League, and arguably the state, Rigsby cares more about winning this season and setting her underclassmen teammates up for success down the line, rather than chasing records and recognition for herself.

So far in the 2016-17 season, Rigsby has been her typical self, scoring in bunches while leading the Cardinals (5-5) to some big wins. But what’s gone unnoticed — at least for the most part — has been her determination to get her younger teammates like sophomore guard Shaya Chenoweth and freshmen Jordyn Pittman and Lohgan Teter on board and up to speed in hopes that the Grand Valley program continues to roll on once she graduates.

“I thought about it a lot before the season, but this year I’ve been focusing on each and every game,” Rigsby said. “It’s a lot playing my hardest because each game is my last against certain teams and players. And I want to make sure I don’t leave anything on the table.

“But my focus this year overall is to get girls like Shaya and Jordyn more involved. There was a game in Meeker earlier in the year where they double-teamed me, so we’ve been really working on getting others’ confidence up. My biggest thing has been to play and help these young girls succeed. In turn of that, I’ve been focusing on the little things and leading by example to make sure that these girls continue on the success we’ve had going here.”

Rigsby can do it all, from getting into the lane, hitting deep three-pointers or even stepping up defensively to shut down opposing teams. That can be overlooked because of her scoring prowess, but the senior guard has really upped her game this season at the defensive end, which has rubbed off on the rest of her teammates.

“She’s a kid that sprints hard every day; she’s up and always ready to go,” Grand Valley Head Coach Jake Higuera said. “She loves this game and loves this team, and the girls know it. As a coach, that’s the leadership that you dream about. You dream about kids like her because her heart is absolutely in it. She’s so special; there’s nobody like her — girls or boys — that I’ve ever coached.”

“Coach Higuera always wants us to play hard defensively because even if we’re having a tough game offensively, we can get back and turn around to play defense at a high level,” Rigsby said. “He always says to us to make sure the other team knows that they’ve played Grand Valley at that end.”

A girl with immense skill on the floor, Rigsby is also driven off of it and seems to already have a future path set up for her in the sports broadcasting field.

With sports playing a major role throughout her entire life, Rigsby has already gotten a jump start on her mass communications degree at Colorado Mesa University by taking advantage of local radio opportunities in Parachute, getting a chance to hit the air with 101.1 K-Sun to broadcast some boys games, as well as hosting a program on Wednesday’s called “Education Matters” through her leadership role with the school.

Rigsby also took turns calling almost all of the football games for Grand Valley this season, while also dabbling in some basketball this season.

“It’s basically something that I can do that still involves sports,” Rigsby said. “I wanted something to do that I could love every day, and that’s sports, because it’s so easy for me to talk about sports and so easy for me to talk to kids about sports, so it just made too much sense for me.

“Sports are the only thing that really gets me excited, and this is exactly what I want to do with my life.”

While she’ll have a busy schedule next season at CMU as a basketball player, there should be no issue fitting in time to talk about sports for Rigsby, considering it’s what she’s done her entire life.

The Post Independent names a boy and girl as student athlete of the month during the school year from nominations by area athletic directors. This month’s male honoree was announced Monday.

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