Monday, April 6, 2009

Spartans' Roe could have been a Tar Heel

DETROIT, Mich. - When I first met Michigan State’s Delvon Roe, he was a sophomore sensation at St. Ed’s.

His team had just ousted Midview in the district final and I decided to interview Roe for my game story - seeing that Roe was by-far St. Ed’s best player. He had a modest 17-point game (along with seven rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals), but I could definately tell he was a special player. After the interview - I could tell he was already seasoned for the media. For just being a sophomore, he was very well-spoken, modest, and said all the right things.

He was touted as one of the best high school basketball players in the nation and had all the top Division I schools drooling over him, including North Carolina.

Then came his senior year.

Roe had a career-threatening injury to his right knee and underwent microfracture surgery, not knowing if he had a life in basketball anymore.

Michigan State stayed in contact with him and checked up on him during his rehab, while North Carolina didn't go the "extra mile". Hence the reason he chose to be a Spartan, instead of a Tar Heel.

"I was leaning toward (North Carolina) heavily,'' Roe said. "But, at the end of the day, I just didn't feel very comfortable (with) it being a family organization and a place I would feel comfortable with for four years.
From the fans to the players to the people in the media, everybody is close at Michigan State.

"They're always there for you," Roe added. "
When I was hurt, Michigan State people were always there for me, telling me to get better. No matter what situation you're in, as long as you have that green and white on, they're family for the rest of your life."

I was rooting for Roe tonight in the National Championship Game. He deserved it. After not getting to play for his high school team in the state championship (a loss to Newark, 65-52), he got the chance last night to play on a bigger stage - the NCAA National Championship.


"God does things for a reason," Roe said "He put me in a position where I can miss a state championship game to play in a national championship game with my family. I'll take that any day of the week.''


Too bad the Tar Heels were just too much for the upstart Spartans. As North Carolina jumped on Michigan State early and often, enroute to a 89-72 win tonight, claiming the National title. Roe scored just two points, but grabbed eight rebounds.

Roe, a freshman, started 30 of 37 games this season, including the Big Game. He averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while playing 18 minutes a game during the season. He also dished 35 assists, had 28 blocks and snatched 16 steals. The only thing he struggled with - free-throws. He shot a dismal 46 percent (51-of-111). Ouch!

If Roe doesn't leave Michigan State for the NBA, the Spartans could be back in the championship next year, and possibly beat Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship - something they failed to do this year.

Other Ohioans on the Spartans’ basketball roster are: Raymar Morgan (Canton McKinley) and Travis Walton (Lima Sr.).

Michigan State also has two other area athletes in Avon Lake’s Mike Haddad and Vermilion’s Derek Hoebing, who are both football players. Haddad will be entering his sophomore year, while Hoebing will be a freshman.
swalker@MorningJournal.com





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1 Comments:

Anonymous Bova said...

Were you in Detroit?

April 7, 2009 at 11:37 AM 

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