Shawnta Rogers and Noelia Gomez will play their final games for GW this month, leaving behind basketball teams that have flourished during their careers. They have provided fans some of the most exciting games the Smith Center has ever hosted. And to cap incredible careers, Rogers and Gomez were recently named Atlantic 10 players of the year. The recognition marked the first time GW players have swept conference player of the year awards, and only the second time in A-10 history. At a time when many athletes are viewed as nothing more than money-hungry, Rogers and Gomez prove athletic role models still exist.
Rogers, the 5-4 senior point guard and leader of the men’s team, became the first player to lead the A-10 in scoring, assists and steals and was named A-10 Player of the Week four times this season. He also was named to the A-10 All-Conference first team. He holds a GW record with 618 career assists and is GW’s sixth all-time scorer with 1,623 points.
His buzzer-beating shot against Xavier Saturday was one of the most thrilling moments in the history of the GW men’s basketball program. The climactic A-10 West title-clinching shot and the ensuing pandemonium was the stuff usually seen in movies.
Gomez ranks second in the A-10 in scoring, and 33rd nationally. She also took A-10 Player of the Week four times this season. She led the Colonial women in scoring in 18 of 26 games this season and she was A-10 Rookie of the Year two years ago. She took the fewest games to score 1,000 points in GW women’s history. In her first season, she helped the Colonial women reach the NCAA Tournament’s “Elite Eight.”
Gomez and Rogers are solid student athletes. What St. Joseph’s University men’s Coach Phil Martelli said about Rogers easily applies to Gomez as well: They play for the right reason: to help their teams win. They play the complete game. There’s no extra stuff – no trash talking, no gesturing to the crowd, no whining to the officials.
What the world of athletics needs is more players like Rogers and Gomez.
This article appeared in the March 4, 1999 issue of the Hatchet.