Brennan Rigsby is helping De Beque boys basketball evolve into a small school power

(Photo courtesy of De Beque Athletics)

A lot of Colorado high school basketball fans will often have a question floating around in their heads.

What did Brennan Rigsby do yesterday?

To MaxPreps they'll go and the results are never surprise. Rigsby plays for De Beque High School. The population of the entire town of De Beque hovers around 500 people and anyone driving west on I-70 might miss the town if they blink.

But do they ever have themselves a basketball player. Rigsby made waves as a freshman, scoring 24.3 points for the Dragons.

They missed the state tournament in 2018, but the 2018-19 season looked promising. And now with just six games remaining in the regular season, they're sitting at No. 1 in the Class 1A boys basketball rankings.

And with the way Rigsby is continuing to play, the Dragons are looking like the team to beat when the postseason rolls around.

"We try to make it a mission to get to the state championship," Rigsby said. "It's one game at a time, you can't just overlook everything and look to the future."

The biggest difference between this year and last year is that Rigsby has grown into a more complete player, not that he thinks he's all the way there.

(Photo courtesy of Kristie Radel)

He's averaging fewer points per game (20.6) but he's a better passer, rebounder and defender. His 2.5 assists per game is a full assist better than a year ago. He's grabbing almost seven more rebounds each game and blocking two more shots than he was as a freshman.

"His game has really developed and evolved over this last summer," coach Jake Higuera said. "He plays a ton of basketball throughout the year and he continues to grow into a better defender and a better rebounder. Scoring comes naturally for him. He's put in a lot of time."

And he's getting help from all around the floor. His classmate Wes Ryan is putting up equally impressive numbers (18.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game) for the Dragons. He recoded three double-doubles in the first four games of the year meaning teams can't just focus on stopping Rigsby.

And even if that was the case, he has no problem letting a player like Ryan — or anyone else for that matter — get their shots up if it means a win for De Beque.

"He's a great teammate and he loves to win," Higuera said. "He'll do whatever it takes for that so if other guys get going he has no problem believing in them and getting them the ball."

It's all a part of his development. Word got out throughout the state last year that there was talent in the small town sitting 34 miles east of Grand Junction.

A big part of his game is also taking pride in bringing prominence to an area that many folks in the state may not pay attention to when it comes to athletics.

"It's great," Rigbsy said. "It's a great feeling to know that we're representing the town really well and that people are getting to know who we are again."

What they need to know is that Rigsby isn't just a solid player for 1A school. The kid grinds every high school season and in the summer to improve his game.

He has no intention of being a good 1A basketball player. He wants to be known as one of the best basketball players in the state of Colorado and he is on his way to doing just that.

"As a sophomore, he's a great basketball player," Higuera said. "Back when I played, guys had to to go 5A schools to be noticed. This kid plays so much summer ball that the high school season is actually his shortest season. He's a baller, not just some 1A guy standing out."

And the best time for him to show it is at the 1A state tournament. He plans on the Dragons playing well enough to get them to Pueblo and showing a completely different region of the state what they're capable of once the whistle blows and play begins.

And what is exactly is that?

"Just what we do everyday," Rigsby said. "Run and gun. Score. Great defense. We just want to do what we've been doing all season."

(Photo courtesy of De Beque Athletics)