SPRINGDALE - Little Rock Hall sophomore David Rivers could very well be sitting around feeling sorry for himself, but he's not.
Instead a week after his team fell to Jacksonville in the Class 6A state title championship game on free throws that resulted from his foul, the 6-6, 185-pound swingman was back on the court.
He was one of the top players at this weekend's 14th annual AAO Top 25 at All-Star Sports Arena and led his team to a 78-54 win in the camp's all-star game.
"It was real devastating," Rivers said of the state championship ending. "I think about it every night what I could have done to prevent that foul. It's going to make me work real, real hard and I am very dedicated to go back."
Rivers joined Fayetteville junior Taylor Cochran, Alma sophomore Issac McCoy, Fort Smith Northside juniors Ian Carter and Corey Copeland among the standouts at the two day camp.
"It was new for me," Rivers said. "I didn't get to go last year. There is a lot of good talent up here. I had fun."
Rivers caught the eye of camp organizer and director David Ferrell.
"He look like to me that he had an all-around game," Ferrell said. "I would have liked to watch him more. Looks like to me that he played outside well, shot the ball well, but the strongest part of his game was attacking the basket. He had kind of a crafty spin move and could go either way."
Hall ended the season 25-3 with losses to Jacksonville twice and on the road at undefeated Class 7A state champ Fayetteville (30-0).
"We practiced hard, worked hard and had a lot of success, but just had a downfall there at the end," Rivers said. "I just have to forget about this year and work hard for next year."
Class 6A featured a lot of state's best teams and top players this season.
"You can't ever come out and not be ready to play," Rivers said. "You have got to be ready every night because everyone brings it."
Rivers had played along with fellow super sophs Aaron Ross, Hunter Mickelson and Ky Madden with the Arkansas Wing' 15-and-under AAU squad last spring and summer.
"I am not sure yet which team I am going to be on," Rivers said. "My mom and I are just deciding. It's a possibility."
Rivers says he is getting interest from Arkansas, Baylor, Memphis, LSU, Ole Miss and others.
"Arkansas' program is growing," Rivers said of a 14-16 season. "This was like a starter year and they will get better next year."
One thing he is planning is stepping up to fill a leadership void that will be there due to the graduation of Baylor signee A.J. Walton and fellow senior star Marland Smith.
"This summer I am going to get the team to work hard in the offseason," Rivers said. "We are going to lift a lot of weights and just be ready for next year. I am going to have to lead us on."
Rivers Shines at AAO Top 25
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