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BREAKING NEWS

Taking his SHOT

Injured Buccaneer gets a chance to score two points

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Mar 7, 2021

Blue Earth Area Buccaneer senior basketball player Nik Lopez takes a shot during the game against the New Ulm Eagles played last week.

Blue Earth Area boys basketball player Nik Lopez was honored by his coach and fellow teammates during the Bucs’ game against New Ulm on Feb. 26.

No, Lopez did not score his 1,000 career point and he did not become the all-time BEA leader in rebounds.

He was honored because of the respect his coach and team have for him.

It was senior night and Lopez was one of seven 12th graders recognized before the game.

He did not even enter the contest until there was little time left on the game clock and the Bucs had the game well in hand.

Lopez was given the ball and allowed to go for an uncontested basket. It was probably the last shot he will take and the last points he will make in a basketball game as a Buccaneer.

You see, Lopez has a torn ACL and has not been able to play this year. And while it is true he is not one of the star players on the team, he is still a valued teammate.

“Nik, besides being one of the nicest kids you will ever know, is also one of the smartest,” BEA head coach Colby Swanson said. “He is just so quiet most people do not realize how intelligent he is.”

Swanson said the idea to put Lopez into the game had not been planned.

“The opportunity presented itself and New Ulm was gracious enough to cooperate,” Swanson said. “It was our way to say thanks to Nik for all of his hard work over the years and his dedication to the team, and to let him know we appreciate him.”