Rogers wins Naismith Award

GW’s Shawnta Rogers won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, honoring the nation’s most outstanding men’s collegiate basketball player 6-feet or under, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday.

The award seemed to be tailor-made for the 5-4 Rogers, who just slipped in under the height requirement – by 8 inches.

The winner of the award is selected by a panel from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which picks the recipient who demonstrates leadership, character, loyalty and all-around basketball ability. He will receive the award May 22 in Springfield, Mass., at the Basketball Hall of Fame College Awards Dinner.

Rogers was unavailable for comment as he was participating in the Nike Desert Classic, a showcase for college seniors entering the NBA draft, in Tempe, Ariz., April 13-17.

Rogers was named the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and received honorable mention all-America from the Associated Press. This season, he became the first player in A-10 history to lead the conference in scoring (20.7 points per game), steals (3.6 steals per game) and assists (6.7 assists per game). He also led the league in free throw shooting (87 percent). Rogers led the nation in steals and was ninth nationally in assists.

In his career, he scored 1,701 points, which placed him fifth on GW’s all-time list. He holds or shares 12 GW records, including career assists (634), career steals (310) and steals in a season (103). During his four years, he led GW to an 80-40 record, including three appearances in the NCAA Tournament and one appearance in the National Invitational Tournament.

Former winners of the award, named in honor of basketball inventor James Naismith’s daughter-in-law, include NBA players Brevin Knight (Stanford University, 1997), Tim Hardaway (University of Texas-El Paso, 1989) and Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues (Wake Forest University, 1987).

Notes:

– The Washington Congressionals selected Rogers and graduate student Yegor Mescheriakov in the United States Basketball League draft. Rogers was the ninth pick in the first round.

– The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Jamal Brown, Baltimore’s 1997-’98 Player of the Year, is set to orally commit to GW and may officially sign in a week. Brown would be Penders’ third recruit of the season in addition to being his third recruit from the Washington/Baltimore area. Brown played at Dunbar High School before spending this year at Maine Central Institute to bring up his grades. He had previously given an oral commitment to the University of Pittsburgh, but a coaching change there precipitated this new decision made between Rhode Island, Providence College and Rutgers University.

Brown earned a B average at Maine Central, making him eligible to play as a freshman. In addition to his high grade point average, he is said to have improved his game – the same game that brought Dunbar a state championship.

Brown would become one of the three Browns on next year’s team (recruit Val and freshman Dorien), and one of the three Baltimore players on the squad (junior Sam Anyan and sophomore Mike King), and will continue a tradition of Baltimore champions coming to GW in the ’90s.

“Players like Lake Clifton’s Mike King and Shawnta Rogers (GW’s fifth all-time leading scorer) and Southern’s Kwame Evans (’96, GW’s fourth all-time leading scorer) – they’re from Baltimore and had an impact at GW,” Brown told the Sun. “I’ll talk to those guys some this summer when I come home, and I’m sure I can play with Mike King.”

-Notes by David Holt

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