Eric Rivers quietly commands McCallie basketball
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — McCallie junior Eric Rivers went straight from scoring touchdowns in the state championship in Cookeville to making buckets in the season opening basketball tournament in Orlando. He scored 27 points in that first Orlando game. However, he says now, about two months later, he’s finally back to his full potential on the court.
McCallie point guard Eric Rivers is simply a baller.
“He’s a hooper and a football player,” senior Jay Hardy said.
Not to mention a state champion.
“I think the notoriety that he gets when people come and watch a football game for example or a basketball game, you know, they get a chance to see him compete on the field,” Coach David Conrady said. “He competes in such a way that makes us proud because he does it with a lot of passion and he does it with a lot of character as well.”
“I just try to lead by example. I don’t really talk much but I just try to work hard, show them that I’m trying,” Rivers said.
Rivers lets his speed talk for him.
“He’s quick. I think he’s probably the fastest guy on the court every time. He gets us going, gets the break going, gets everything started,” Hardy said.
“His quickness is one of the best characteristics that he has. He’s as quick as anyone that I’ve ever coached with the ball,” Conrady said.
However, he’s not all gas, no breaks, all the time.
“You got to change up your pace sometimes to keep the defense off guard, so when you use your speed, it just makes it like you’re flying,” Rivers said.
“He plays at his speed, he gets us where we need to be, and yet he really finds that fine line between able to insert himself into the game as well as getting his teammates involved,” Conrady said. “He’s one of the most level-headed people you’d come in contact with.”
Rivers is so level-headed, that his teammates can’t even tell how he’s feeling during the game.
“You can never see if he’s mad or not. You can just never tell. When he’s happy, you can never tell. You just don’t know,” Hardy said.
“You don’t know what to expect. I’m always calm so it’s like you don’t know what I’m going to do next. You don’t know if I’m fired up or out of it. Like, if I miss a shot I don’t get down. I just keep the same face. So you don’t really know,” Rivers said. “Sometimes. Sometimes I crack a smile.”