IGNACIO - Alex Herrera will play one more boys basketball season for the Ignacio Bobcats.
Then the Ignacio High School all-stater will take his game to Fort Lewis College.
Herrera, the 6-foot-9 senior center on the Bobcats' basketball team, signed a National Letter of Intent last week to
play basketball for coach Bob Hofman and the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks.
"That has been one of my goals since I was in high school ... to play college basketball," Herrera said this week as the
Bobcats prepare for their 2009-10 prep season opener.
"It's a good school. It's close to home and has a really good basketball team," Herrera said, adding that he was
excited to join a program led by such a successful coach like Hofman.
"I liked it up there. He (coach Hofman) talked to me several times. And I went up there and played at the Fort,"
Adding that he enjoyed the competition against the college players, Herrera said he feels relieved that he's made a
decision about his basketball future.
"It takes a lot of the pressure off," said Herrera, who this week was named to the All-Southern Peaks League first team
Herrera played offensive tackle and defense end for the Bobcats, who reached the state football playoffs for the second
"It helps knowing I'm going to go to a great school. It should be a lot of fun," said Herrera, who helped the
Bobcats finish fourth in the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A State Boys Basketball Championships
Herrera, in fact, hit the game-winning jump shot in the opening round of the state tournament last year, sending the
Bobcats into the state semifinals.
Herrera averaged 15 points, four rebounds and four blocks per game last year when the Bobcats finished 23-3. His 114
blocks last season placed him 10th on the all-time single season list in Colorado.
"We are extremely excited to add a player and person of Alex's caliber to our program," Hofman said. "Alex has proven
that he is one of the top prospects in the state of Colorado and has had a very successful high school career with his
senior year still ahead of him."
Hofman said Herrera will fit in well at Fort Lewis College.
"He has played under one of the best coaches in the Four Corners in Chris Valdez," Hofman said. "We are thrilled to
have Alex as a Skyhawk."
The experience of postseason play and the state tournament should help the Bobcats this season, Herrera said.
"That experience should help us a lot. We know what state is like," he said, adding that the Bobcats also know what it
takes to get to the state tournament.
The Ignacio senior also paid tribute to his high school coach during his interview this week.
"Chris Valdez ... he means everything to the program," Herrera said. "We're really close. He's the best coach I've ever
had ... he loves the sport."
Herrera is the son of Chris and Kathy Herrera of Ignacio.
And his basketball roots reach deep into his family tree.
"When he (Chris Herrera) was in high school, they won state," Alex Herrera said.
And, he said, his father's basketball team also had a state runner-up finish after the state championship in 1988.
With those family basketball connections, he said, he hopes the Bobcats can get back to the state tournament this