GV’s Rigsby officially signs with Colorado Mesa | PostIndependent.com

GV’s Rigsby officially signs with Colorado Mesa

Grand Valley senior guard Kylyn Rigsby, center, signs her official letter of intent to play basketball at Colorado Mesa during a ceremony at Grand Valley High School Wednesday, as her father Brennan (right, sitting), mother Melissa (left) and Head Coach Jake Higuera (standing) look on. (JOSH CARNEY / POST INDEPENDENT)

Just over a month ago, Grand Valley girls basketball senior point guard Kylyn Rigsby announced to the Post Independent that she would be playing basketball for the Colorado Mesa Mavericks following her illustrious career at Grand Valley High School. On Wednesday, in front of family, friends and school administrators, Rigsby made it official, putting pen to paper inside Grand Valley’s gymnasium, signing her offer sheet with the Mavericks.

“I was really excited to do this,” Rigsby, the daughter of Brennan and Melissa Rigsby, said following the small ceremony. “I was coming down the hall with my friends to do this and I was just excited. They were really excited for me too, so that helped. It’s exciting for me, but at the same time it’s very calming just to know that it’s done and I’m able to breathe now.”

Coming off of a dominant junior season in which she averaged 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while leading the Cardinals to a 17-6 record and a state playoff berth, Rigsby took to the summer camp circuit and put on a show, drawing an offer from Colorado Mesa Head Coach Taylor Wagner. Having the chance to play so close to home — where family and friends could watch her play at the next level — played a huge factor in her early signing.

“Just the other night I was at the De Beque Middle School game and I was talking to people, maybe they aren’t really close to me or knew me since I was little, they were excited that I was staying close to home,” she said. “It’s really heartwarming knowing that people want to come watch me and cheer me on from this area. It’s really cool and really special; I know that I’m so blessed.”

The senior guard is certainly blessed on the court as she has a great handle at the point, while possessing terrific range from beyond the arc and the speed to get buckets from anywhere on the court. But what has really stood out to Grand Valley girls Head Coach Jake Higuera is her attitude on the court, which is a large reason why CMU wanted her for the basketball program.

“When I was talking with Coach Wagner this summer, it wasn’t about her skill and it wasn’t about how well she shoots or how well she plays defense or anything like that. It was all about her attitude and her effort and those type of things that he brought up,” Higuera said. “It was those little things that we talk about all the time that really pushed it over the top for him, just in conversation. I thought that was really cool. Of course she can play; she’s one of the best female players I’ve seen. But it’s her attitude, effort and love for her team that really puts her over the top. That’s special.”

Often times, you hear about great leaders in sports, but they’re not always the best on the team. Sometimes being the best can be a crutch to lean on, allowing one to not work as hard in practice or at one area of your game because it comes so naturally to you as a player. But with Rigsby, that’s nowhere near what has happened over the last three years at the Parachute school.

Despite playing basketball since grade school, she never really took the game as seriously as she does now until her sophomore year when she realized how good she could be. From there the gears started turning, and she’s turned into one of the best female basketball players in the entire state of Colorado in Class 3A. Although she’s one of the best in the state — and easily one of the top players in this valley — it hasn’t changed her attitude or work ethic as she’s still the hardest working player on the team — and in the entire school, according to Higuera.

“She’s a kid that sprints hard every day; she’s up and always ready to go,” 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.”

That love of the game wasn’t always there though, as basketball was just something she did throughout her life. Of course, that was until she came to fall in love with the game under Higuera’s leadership.

“My dad introduced this game to me when I was little, but it wasn’t until Coach Higuera started coaching me that I really developed a love for it,” Rigsby said. “I always played it because, well, that’s just what I did; I played basketball in the winter. But I don’t know, his (Higuera) philosophy and how he is with us, it really developed my love for the game. I told him today that without him I wouldn’t have that love for the game; the way he loves the game makes me want to love it more.”

Now, she’ll get one last year to show just how much she loves the game with her friends in the friendly confines of her home gymnasium and comforting black, red and white jersey of Grand Valley. Having the signing out of the way allows her to relax and really just take in everything from her senior year of basketball for the final time.

“It means the world to me, honestly,” Rigsby said. “Grand Valley sports and the teammates, family and friends that I have here is something that I’ll hold with me forever. To be able to just focus on them is really important to me because I’ve been with them for four years and I want to be able to put all of my heart into it for one last year.”

Rigsby and the Cardinals tip off the 2016-17 regular season on Dec. 2 against Colorado Springs Christian in the Jefferson Academy Tournament.

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