Just over a decade ago, professional basketball player and Cortez native Kirk Archibeque played his final game for Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Since then, the talented big man has traveled the world, suiting up for professional teams in Ukraine, Georgia and Poland.
Initially a role player in the professional ranks, Archibeque has evolved into a bonafide star, improving nearly every aspect of his game.
Enjoying his best season in 2013-14, the former M-CHS standout earned individual honors and led his team to new heights while enjoying life in a foreign land.
The 2013-14 season was an impressive one for Archibeque as he solidified himself as one of the top centers in Poland’s top professional league.
In addition to leading his team, Rosa Radom, in scoring with 13.7 points per game, Archibeque was a beast on the boards, averaging a team-high 8.6 rebounds per contest. Archibeque also registered a league-leading 11 double doubles on the year.
Over the course of the season, Archibeque was named the most valuable player of an early season tournament and named player of the week three times.
“The (2013-14 season) was probably my best as a professional,” Archibeque wrote in an email to The Cortez Journal. “I really worked on my midrange jumper, and I have been knocking down open looks when I get them. My offseason preparation really paid off.”
Thanks in large part to Archibeque’s impressive season, Rosa Radom has enjoyed a historic season.
After finishing 2012-13 ranked 11th in the 12-team Polish league, Rosa Radom finished fifth this season and qualified for the playoffs.
Rosa Radom then advanced to the semifinal round before losing to top-seeded PGE Turow.
“This season was extremely successful for Rosa,” wrote Archibeque. “We started off the season a little shaky, but towards the middle we hit full stride, and we were able to ride that momentum into the playoffs. For us to make the semifinals was huge.”
As rewarding as the season was, life in Poland provided an equally gratifying experience for Archibeque and his wife and daughter.
“We have really adapted to Polish culture, and we really love the town that we currently live in,” wrote Archibeque. “My daughter goes to school here and is pretty fluent in Polish. I will be sad to see her leave all the great friends and teachers that she has made here.”
Archibeque remains unsure of where he might play next season as several teams are interested in retaining his services.
He plans to work throughout the summer however, just as he has in previous years.
“I will work out twice a day,” wrote Archibeque. “One workout will be lifting and cardio, and the other will involve basketball. I am a firm believer that if you are not working, there is someone who will take your spot. I will not let that happen.”