Patience and perseverance paved the way to the Clemson Tigers
A year following her graduation from Rock Canyon High School, Morgan Roos of Castle Pines signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Clemson University in South Carolina. Roos is the first female ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) basketball player to come out of Colorado.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Kimberly Roos
Morgan Roos is a Castle Pines resident, but only for a little while longer. Roos will be heading out in a few weeks to play basketball at Clemson University in South Carolina.
“I believe in what Coach Smith and her coaching staff are building over at Clemson and I couldn’t be more proud to be a Clemson Tiger and be part of her vision,” said Roos.
The road to Clemson hasn’t been entirely easy for Roos, who graduated from Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) in 2014. At 6’3”, Roos was an ESPN three-star prospect out of high school and was listed as the 66th best prospect in the nation. Instead of deciding which college and basketball program to join after graduation however, Roos was notified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that she was ineligible to play. NCAA wouldn’t accept one of the math classes Roos had taken as a freshman at Castle View High School because they said it was too similar to another one she later took at RCHS.
Roos had to complete an NCAA-approved math course and wait out the year before she could try again at getting a spot at a 4-year institution.
Roos said, “I got a job at Red Bull stocking cans at local Walmarts and King Soopers at four in the morning every Thursday through Sunday. I also began training with a basketball coach, a speed and agility coach, a strength and conditioning trainer, and playing in pick up games. My goal was to become a more versatile player and expand my game out to become more of a forward/center.”
The past year taught Roos a number of lessons and led to the opportunity at Clemson. Roos said, “This year has been beyond humbling. I went from thinking I was going to college to wearing a name badge making minimum wage. But, in all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This year has allowed me to grow up and learn some very important life lessons.”
Clemson head coach Audra Smith called Roos when she learned she was eligible to play and asked her to come for a visit. Roos said, “Clemson put me through a tryout with the team and coaching staff. On the last day I was there, Coach Smith sat me down and pulled out a full-ride offer and said ‘Morgan, how do you feel about becoming a Clemson Tiger?’ I burst into tears knowing this was an amazing opportunity. I went home and the next day I called the coaching staff and screamed ‘I WANT TO BE A CLEMSON TIGER!’ It was the best day of my life.”
Roos, the first female ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) basketball player to come out of Colorado, starts summer courses and pre-season workouts at Clemson mid-June in preparation for a tournament in Italy in August. Roos plans on majoring in Sports Communication at Clemson.