Win or lose, at least Holy Family basketball stars Lindsey and Katie Chavez can count on playing at least one more game together beyond this week’s Class 3A state finals.
On Monday, the magical winter that has been transpiring in the Holy Family gymnasium was rewarded with several roster spots for The Show, the annual state all-star game hosted by the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Chavez sisters, both standout guards for the Tigers’ top-seeded girls basketball team, each received roster spots on the White Team alongside Broomfield star Callie Kaiser.
Additionally, Holy Family boys coach Pete Villecco and Niwot girls coach Terri Ward were tabbed as coaches for the all-star affair. The boys and girls games will be held the afternoon of April 12 in advance of the Nuggets game that evening against the Utah Jazz.
The teams were introduced Monday during a ceremony at the Pepsi Center.
The Chavez sisters still have unfinished business at the Class 3A finals later this week at the Air Force Academy, but the fact that they will still have one more marquee game to share together regardless of this week’s outcome has provided the pair with a unique thrill.
“It’s very exciting to know that I’ll have one last chance to play with my sister before I go off to college,” senior Lindsey Chavez said. “I’m excited and eager to play with everyone here. They’re all talented athletes and I’m very glad to be on this team.”
Like the Chavez sisters, Broomfield’s Kaiser would prefer to celebrate a Class 4A state title later this week than revel in her roster spot for The Show. That said, Kaiser is stoked about an opportunity to represent the undefeated Eagles on a White Team roster that includes the Chavez sisters and statewide standouts like Grandview’s Michaela Onyenwere and Mesa Ridge’s Kylee Shook.
“It’s a huge honor to play with and against all these players,” Kaiser said. “It will be a lot of fun. We definitely need to take care of business (this week) and this will come after, but it’s still a big honor.”
Villecco jokingly wondered if organizers of The Show had dialed the wrong number when he was notified of his selection. Yet even as his Tigers prepare for their own title run as the top remaining seed in the 3A boys bracket, Villecco might also be wondering how exactly he should manage a talent-loaded White squad that includes Denver East standouts Ronnie Harrell and CU-bound guard Dom Collier.
“It’s an honor and it says a lot about what Holy Family has been doing all year,” Villecco said. “It says a lot about the kids we have at Holy Family. It’s great to see, and to have the Chavez sisters here. It has been absolutely a magical year.”
Niwot’s Ward, somewhat surprisingly, has never coached The Show all-star game, a stipulation that goes into the game’s coaching selections each year. Following a three-season hiatus, Ward returned this season to a Niwot program she led to 244 wins in 20 seasons before retiring following the 2009-10 season.
Although Niwot finished 7-17, the Cougars nonetheless showed marked improvement after winning just 13 games overall in three seasons without Ward. Receiving a chance to work from the bench at The Show reflects the high level of respect and admiration the humble Ward commands from her peers across the state.
“It’s pretty exciting. I was rather shocked because we didn’t have the greatest record in the world,” Ward said. “But I’m very honored and pleased to be here. From what I understand, it’s a real treat and a lot of fun.”
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