It was announced a few days ago that Rico Maierhofer has decided to forego his final year of UAAP eligibility to turn professional. This news came as a bit of a surprise as many were expecting Rico to play out his 5th year with the Archers and be the main catalyst for the team especially with the departure of JV Casio.
Call it fate as to how Rico got discovered 7 years ago. While dining at the restaurant of the family-owned Tropicana Castle resort at the celebrated Puerto Galera beaches in the island of Mindoro, He was mysteriously approached by a vacationing La Salle alumnus and asked whether he wanted to try out for the De La Salle Green Archers in Manila.
A late bloomer, Maierhofer discovered his wares for basketball only in third year high school back in Puerto Galera Academy, though he has always had the height since he was young. He used to play volleyball before realizing that he could make good use of his height better in basketball.
Rico’s height proved to be enough for the La Salle alumnus to be convinced that he could become a Green Archer. An invite was sent and Rico was accompanied by his mother and cousin to come to Manila for a try-out. Coach Franz was very much impressed and decided to take him in.
Rico would have made the cut in his freshman year back in 2003 if not for the injury he sustained prior the start of the UAAP. A hyper-extended knee after an attempted dunk shot during one practice game dashed his hopes of playing that season. After a year of strengthening and recovery, Maierhofer finally debuted as a Green Archer in 2004.
For 4 seasons we have become witness to Rico’s high flying act and defensive prowess on the hard court. We thank Rico for his valuable contributions to the team during his stay and also congratulate him for this forthcoming graduation this June. We wish him all the best in his career.