At first, the pain set in, and Silver Creek's Hunter Becvar would tell you it was immediate and all too familiar. Then, in a little more of a trickle, was the thought sinking in that he might not ever play sports again.

That feeling was new, and it was devastating at the time. Back in October of 2014, Becvar had just gone through the process of rehabilitating an ACL tear in his left knee entering his sophomore year and ... boom, during tryouts it happened again.

Same knee. Same tear.

It may have been a freak accident, or it may have been caused by a rush to get back on the court — looking back on it, Becvar said that he probably would have done things differently and perhaps waited to join the team mid-season.

But two years removed from the injury itself, it can be viewed as just a temporary setback to an extraordinary student-athlete.

"The first time, you know, it happens but the second time was really tough because it was just a mix of poor preparation and bad timing," Becvar, now a senior, said as Silver Creek prepares itself for the second half of Northern League play. "I honestly, for a little bit, didn't think I was ever going to play any sports again. But God does some amazing things."

Becvar's perseverance has shone over the past two years, especially to Silver Creek head coach Bob Banning, who saw him as a potential top-tier player even through his camps before Becvar was in high school.


After having a pretty good freshman season prior to the injury, Banning said that Becvar would have been in the mix as a swing player to come up to varsity when called upon as a sophomore. Then as a junior, Becvar continued to just get better and gain his confidence back while playing a lot behind Rhythm Ajanku.

Through that whole process, Banning saw nothing but positive character and determination from Becvar — showing he had clearly recovered from that initial shock of a second tear.

"You hear all these stories about coming back from one is a 50-50 deal, so to be dealing with two is really remarkable," Banning said. "So you kind of knock on wood a bit but you also kind of realize the diligence and tenacity of the kid.

"Getting games underneath his belt last year was big, and he worked real hard this summer with us. He also played club ball with the Colorado Titans and I think that playing against that elite competition has raised his game another level."

Sure, there are scars, but Becvar's knee brace is about the only piece of evidence of the past troubles. His game in 2016-17, as Silver Creek has jumped up to 12-1 overall and in the mix for the Northern League championship, is pretty prime.

Silver Creek is one of the high-paced offenses that is taking over Class 4A basketball, scoring nearly 70 points a game. While Becvar is running the point, he is also a versatile player that can fill both the 1 and 2 guard positions.

Through 13 games, he's averaging 12.5 points, 3.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while committing less than two turnovers a game. For Becvar, the excitement of the team's success has been contagious. However, he is also playing without hesitation for the first time.

"Definitely you feel like you lose a step. It took awhile to get back in the groove, but I think you can overcome anything if you take the time and put in work," Becvar said. "But you get back in it, get your athleticism back and jut play. Experience is big."

"He's a crucial piece to our success, and he's a team captain and it's nice when things work for kids that work as hard as he has," Banning added.

Even after a two-year setback, Becvar might be on the map for college basketball if he so chose. But that idea actually never took off for the kid who has a grade-point average above 4.0, loves soccer as well as basketball, and just wants to love the game for what it is.

He can do that right now at Silver Creek and also later on down the line when he is at Colorado State, studying mechanical engineering.

"I'm just glad I can be playing again," Becvar said. "Just playing with the guys is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and getting to compete is fun."

Adam Dunivan: or