Alex Herrera didn’t waste his final chance to don a Fort Lewis College men’s basketball jersey.
Herrera, a 2010 graduate of Ignacio High School, competed in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Reese’s Division II All-Star Game on Friday at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.
The 6-foot-10 FLC senior center scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 24 minutes of action, helping lead the West team to a record-setting 140-112 win against the East squad. He was the starting center for the West squad.
“I’m a competitor, so to win is one of the best experiences in the world,” Herrera said. “And to be wearing an FLC jersey is the cherry on top.”
Herrera added two blocked shots, and he was 5-of-10 shooting from the field. He also was 2-for-2 at the free-throw line.
It was the final collegiate game of Herrera’s career, and being selected in the showcase game the night before the NCAA Division II National Championship game with the other 19 best seniors in the country was the perfect way to cap off an All-American career.
Herrera is considering multiple offers to player professional basketball internationally, and it meant even more to him that his family, including his parents Chris and Kathy Herrera and his brother Nicholas, could attend the game. He also had an aunt, uncle and cousin drive from Chicago to watch the game.
“To have family here is great, With me, family comes first, so it was great for them to see possibly my last game in the States,” Herrera said.
Herrera was one of three Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference personalities representing the West. Metro State point guard Mitch McCarron also played, and the West was coached by Regis’ Lonnie Porter, who retired at the end of the season after more than 30 years coaching the Rangers.
McCarron had 13 points, four assists and three rebounds.
“It was a great experience. The guys are great basketball players and even better guys,” Herrera said of the 19 other players he spent time with Thursday and Friday. “It was an awesome experience playing with Mitch, as well.
“I have played with Mitch last summer in Australia and have spoken over social media sites and stuff. He’s a real good guy, and I enjoyed playing with him.”
Lynn University’s Aaron Harrison scored 25 points to lead the West. He matched the game’s scoring record with the performance, and the West’s 140 points set a new record, beating the previous mark of 138 set in 2009. The West’s 26 3-pointers also matched a record.
Herrera was happy with his performance but said his final stat line isn’t what mattered the most during the trip.
“It’s not about the stats, just the experience and being around a great group of guys,” he said. “It’s definitely something to tell people, but it’s not something that is going to define my career or the places I’m trying to reach.”