Column: Riverland is a great place for area athletes

Published 10:50 pm Monday, April 27, 2009

It was nice to see hard work pay off for two Riverland basketball players this season.

Austin natives Brooke Monson and Anna Hebrink both turned their two years at RCC into scholarships to Division II basketball teams.

The best part is they took a road a less traveled. While many high school athletes feel they have to make it big time or not at all, Monson and Hebrink stayed in Austin and played for a community college. Not the most glamorous of places.

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But they were home and they had a big fan bases in Riverland gym every night.

They worked hard and they got better.

Hebrink said RCC had a huge impact on those improvements and she suggested more athletes give the Blue Devils a chance.

“I think a lot of players want to get away from home and play big right away,” she said. “But a lot of times they’re not ready. For me, it gave me a lot of experience I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else and I got better and gained confidence.”

It was fun to watch the game-by-game progression of the two and it was nice to see it happen while the Blue Devils were winning.

For any area high school athletes who may not have the option to play at a four-year school, Riverland is a great option as it is a great way to save money and a great way for ‘not quite ready for big time’ players to hone their skills and play for two more years after high school. Maybe they’ll find themselves getting better and maybe opportunities will present themselves.

If nothing else, it’s a great way to keep an athletic career going for a couple of more years.