Colorado Premier selects Hayden for boys program

The footprint of the Colorado Premier basketball club continues to grow on the Western Slope.

The club announced the hiring of Central boys basketball coach Ryan Hayden as the Colorado Premier Western Slope boys program director and will begin fielding boys teams this spring.

Colorado Premier had several girls teams on the Western Slope last year and Fruita Monument junior Riley Snyder played for Premier’s Nike Elite Youth Basketball League team, which played at major tournaments around the country.

“I’m really excited to jump on board with a program that’s reputable and successful here in Colorado,” Hayden said. “They’ve not only done big things on the Western Slope with the girls teams, but also on the Eastern Slope with the entire program.”

Hayden is about to start his sixth season at Central High School, taking the Warriors from a winless record in 2012 to the Class 5A playoffs last season.

Hayden said he was approached for the job by Michael Wells, the Fruita Monument girls basketball coach and head of the girls program for Colorado Premier on the Western Slope. Hayden said his working relationship with Wells and the strength of Colorado Premier’s coaching staffs led to him taking the job.

For both genders, middle school tryouts for Colorado Premier start at 1 p.m. Jan. 3 at Fruita Monument High School. High school tryouts start at 9 a.m. March 11 at Fruita Monument. More information is available at

Keith Van Horn, a former No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft, runs Colorado Premier in Evergreen. Van Horn said there are solid coaches in place to grow the programs.

“We are thrilled to get a coach of Ryan’s quality to run our boys programs and excited about the growth of our club on the Western Slope,” Van Horn said. “We feel like with Ryan and Michael, we have two of the best young coaches in Colorado leading our West Slope programs.”


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