Fifteen years after he helped lead the Montezuma-Cortez High School basketball team to the Class 4A state championship, professional basketball star Kirk Archibeque is set to host a free basketball camp for young players in the local community.
The camp will take place at Montezuma-Cortez High School on July 17-20, and will feature instruction from Archibeque, as well as several local coaches, including Dolores High School boys coach Larry Schwartz, M-CHS girls coach John McHenry, and M-CHS boys coach Mike Hall.
Players from grades 3-8 will practice from 9-11:30 a.m. each day, and high school players will practice from 1-3:30 p.m.
“I’m excited to give back to the community,” Archibeque said. “Friends of Recreation, (which supports youth athletics within the community), contacted me and asked if I would host a camp, and I gladly said yes.”
According to Archibeque, fundamental skills such as dribbling, shooting and defensive breakdowns will be the focus of the camp, which will include a multitude of drills and fun activities.
“The basic fundamentals are what kids don’t have nowadays,” Archibeque said. “People think that you have to be a standout athletic person to be a good basketball player, but if you’re good at some specific skills, you really can stand out.”
For Archibeque, the camp represents another step in a storied basketball journey that included four standout seasons at M-CHS, three seasons at for the University of Northern Colorado and a stellar year at Fort Lewis College.
After graduating from Fort Lewis in 2009, Archibeque traveled overseas, where he has spent eight seasons playing for professional teams in Poland, Georgia, Latvia and Belgium.
Last season, Archibeque suited up for PGE Turow in Zgorzelec, Poland and enjoyed another stellar year during which he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game.
Asked about the keys to his success, Archibeque credited coaches, teammates, community members and family members who have helped make his career possible. The 6-foot-8-inch forward went on to say that his success would not have been possible without the work that he puts in during the offseason.
“Champions aren’t made in the season, champions are made in the offseason,” Archibeque said. “One of the reasons that I’m hosting this camp is that it will give kids the opportunity to hone their skills during the summer.”
As for his future, Archibeque said that he would like to play at least two more seasons professionally before returning to the states and settling into a career that will likely include coaching.
“I’m still looking forward to playing a few more years, and we’ll see where it goes from there,” Archibeque said.
Individuals interested in signing up for the camp can pick up and submit a registration packet at the Cortez Recreation Center during normal business hours.