Top basketball players of the century: Girls No. 6, Darrione Rogers of Lake Park
Editors note: The Daily Herald is counting down the Top Ten boys and girls basketball players of the century in our coverage area. We continue today with No. 6 -- John Shurna of Glenbard West and Darrione Rogers of Lake Park.
It would be easy to look at Darrione Rogers' spectacular stats and the many Lake Park records she broke and say she was just about the numbers.
It would be easy, and it would be wrong.
"She would rather win than have all those records, no doubt about it," Lancers coach Brian Rupp said. "She was trying to win games every single time. She competed in everything."
That competitive spirit paid off this spring when Rogers led a team that also started two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior to a surprise run downstate. The Lancers finished fourth in Class 4A in March.
High school basketball did not begin well for Rogers, a 2020 graduate headed to DePaul. Less than five minutes into the first game of her first season, she tore up a knee while driving into the lane at Hoffman Estates' Thanksgiving tournament.
Then she missed the first five games of her sophomore season with an ankle injury.
Still, she finished with 2,191 points despite scoring just 2 as a freshman. If not for the late start to her sophomore season, she would have passed Sam Arnold to become Lake Park's all-time leading scorer in just three seasons.
Her four-season averages over 90 games: 24.34 points a game, 9.59 rebounds, 3.54 steals. Twice she was selected as an all-stater.
But it's her leadership skills and competitive spirit that the Lancers will continue to benefit from for seasons to come. Because of her example, those freshmen and sophomores Rogers led downstate are more invested in basketball and more willing to put in the time and effort to improve.
"It's hard to explain how different our program is since the moment she first stepped onto one of our courts," Rupp said.
"It's been really awesome watching her mature mentally, going through what she did her freshman year to leading a bunch of freshmen and sophomores down to state, which no one thought we could do," Rupp said. "It just shows what she was capable of. We had to go through some bumps and bruises for us to get to that point. She never wavered from what she wanted to accomplish. And it's just been awesome."