Rivera Transferring to LIU Brooklyn
LOWELL — Guard Alex Rivera is transferring to LIU Brooklyn after a productive freshman college basketball season at UMass Lowell in 2018-19.
Rivera, a Lowell native and the all-time leading scorer for the Lowell High School boys program, confirmed via text message Wednesday he has committed to LIU Brooklyn. Per NCAA rule, he will have to sit out a season before suiting up for the Blackbirds, who are coached by former UMass player and head coach Derek Kellogg.
“Felt like the best spot for me,” said Rivera. “It’s far away, but not so far away, and also in the city of New York. They have a great coach who runs an offense that fits my game.
“I thank everyone at UMass Lowell for everything they did for me.”
The 6-foot-1 Rivera played in 30 (two starts) of the 32 games for the River Hawks (15-17, 7-9 America East). He averaged 24.9 minutes, 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds, ranking fourth on the team in each of those categories. He also made 55 3-pointers, was third on the team with 24 steals and scored in double figures 17 times.
He certainly played an impactful role for UML. But after careful thought, he decided a change of scenery, away from the familiar confines of Lowell, would do him some good. The decision certainly took many people by surprise, knowing how much pride Rivera has in his hometown.
LIU Brooklyn is a member of the Northeast Conference. The Blackbirds finished 16-16 (9-9 NEC) last season. In 2018, they won the conference tournament and earned an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Like UML, LIU Brooklyn plays at a fast pace. However, the Blackbirds averaged 25.4 3-point attempts per game, compared to the River Hawks’ 22.5, which may benefit Rivera’s propensity for shooting from long range.
UMass Lowell has played against LIU Brooklyn in three of past four seasons, but the teams didn’t meet in 2018-19.
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