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Girls basketball: Peak to Peak's Alexandra Eschmeyer is the Daily Camera player of the year

Mar. 29—Peak to Peak's Alexandra Eschmeyer brought a nationwide recruiting battle to Colorado before committing to women's basketball powerhouse, Stanford, in January.

It was much that way for Grandview junior Sienna Betts, the state's Gatorade player of the year, before she picked UCLA in November. And it's already the same for Riverdale Ridge's Brihanna Crittendon, who was one of the nation's top scorers as a sophomore.

"First of all, I'm just so excited about how Colorado is such a powerhouse for women's basketball now," Eschmeyer, named the Daily Camera girls basketball player of the year, said earlier this week. "I mean, I haven't thought about it a ton, but it's very exciting that we get to contribute to the growth of women's sports."

Eschmeyer, standing 6-foot-5, has a game as big as her 6-foot-11 father, Evan Eschmeyer, the former NBA player who now coaches the boys' team at Peak to Peak. She'll just never say it herself.

Her stats speak for themselves: Eschmeyer averaged 23.5 points per game, 13.1 rebounds and 4.8 blocks this winter while playing in the 4A classification.

On the back of her 22 double-doubles — tied for most in the state — the Pumas rode her all the way to the Denver Coliseum for the school's second-ever appearance in a state quarterfinal.

Those closest to her marvel over her game but seem more eager to talk about the person she is without the ball.

"What I'd like to say to start off, in an alternate world where Alex never picked up a basketball in her life, I'd have a long list of great things to say about her," said Peak to Peak girls' coach Joe Howard, who is also her teacher in honors pre-calculus this year. "Beyond basketball, she is just a great person all-around. And I will always continue to say, she is one of the best teammates I've ever coached."

Eschmeyer was named the 4A/3A Metro League player of the year for a second straight season. She was picked for CHSAA's all-state first team for the first time.

During the recruiting process, she was sought out by a number of big programs before verbally committing to Stanford during the season. Among others interested was the flourishing program up the road, at the University of Colorado.

"CU was definitely a great, great program and I loved their coaching staff so much," she said before reaffirming her commitment to the Cardinal. "The recruiting process was really exciting to go through. Stressful at times, for sure. But it was a great experience and I'm so grateful I had so many great coaches recruiting me."

Eschmeyer is currently in Portland, Ore., one of only a few juniors around the country invited to USA Basketball women's junior national team minicamp. While there, she's also hoping to get a glimpse of her future team, with Stanford playing nearby in the NCAA Women's Sweet 16.

Before making her new home in Palo Alto, Calif., though, Eschmeyer could make a run at joining the very rare, 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound club next season when she's a senior at Peak to Peak.

This winter, she totaled 612 points and 341 rebounds. In her career, per MaxPreps, she has 1,392 points and 888 boards.