The subject of this week’s HoopMia player spotlight was sensational this past week in the A-Rod classic leading his Riviera squad to a tournament championship. Esteban Lluberes scored 34 points in the championship game against Schoolhouse Prep in a 92 to 85 win and was named tournament MVP. They also defeated Mater Academy 67 to 59, and beat Columbus 60 to 53 during the tournament as well. He recapped his and the team’s stellar weekend to our staff.
“It felt great to win against some of the top teams,” said Lluberes “The competition was great and those teams are very skilled. To be able to win against them this weekend was very special.”
Lluberes is only in his sophomore season and has already helped take his team to the state tournament in Lakeland. They are off to a 10 and 0 start this year and seemed poised to be a contender to head to Lakeland for consecutive seasons. They will face challenges from regional contenders like Westminster Christian, Florida Christian, and Chaminade. He discussed his team’s great start and the keys to their success.
“I feel great about our team. We are coming together nicely. Our team chemistry is at such a high level and we have become a brotherhood. As long as we play together, we should be able to accomplish our goals.”
The 5 foot 8 point guard has already established himself as one of the top guards in South Florida. He had a great summer playing with the Florida Vipers in the Under Armour circuit and is off to a tremendous start this season. He is averaging 20 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals per game so far this year. Lluberes is great in transition and in setting up his squad’s halfcourt attack. He is shooting the ball with a ton of confidence and is one of the more crafty ballahndlers you will find. He discussed what he feels are his strengths on the court.
“The strength of my game is my ball handling and shooting. I also take pride in being mentally tough. There is nothing that bothers me on the court and prevents me from playing my game.”
The Riviera Bulldogs are off to such a great start due to the play of their extremely well rounded starting 5. Esteban is the initiator for a squad that features supremely talented 6’6 freshman wing Osmar Araujo and the high flying and productive senior 6’2 combo guard David Perez. The other two starters are 6’4 senior AJ Hoynack and 5’11 junior Lucas Brenner, who are knockdown shooters. They seem to be improved as a team everytime we see them play. Lluberes described his goals for this talented bunch and what he loves about the sport.
“I want our team to win our district, regionals, and state. That is our goal. My personal goal is that I just want to get better as a leader everyday to help our team be able to reach our goals. I love everything about basketball, most of all I like the competition and seeing the joy of my teammates after a win.”
Lluberes is putting together a phenomenal sophomore campaign up to this point that is sure to garner county and state recognition. He plays the game under total control and is able to impact the game in many facets. He also has the unique quality of elevating the play of his teammates. It will be fascinating to see what heights Lluberes can reach throughout his career and how far he can help take the Bulldogs this season.