The end of Tierra Rogers’ hoops career is a shock

It wasn’t that long ago that Cal freshman Tierra Rogers’ father was stabbed to death at halftime of a game at her high school – Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco – in the middle of her junior season. The young player flirted briefly with giving up the game, and then rallied to finish the season. She was awarded with a scholarship to Cal, and was one of the heralded super seven freshman this fall. (2008 ESPN story on Rogers here)

But yesterday Rogers had surgery to implant a defibrilator in her heart after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Today she was released from the hospital, and her basketball career is over. I’m still in shock.

Cal Berkeley and the basketball coaches are in full support of Rogers. Coach Joanne Boyle says the University will honor Rogers’ scholarship though she can’t play anymore. Extremely honorable of them, but what a blow for an 18-year-old to see a second tragedy take away the thing that got her through the first tragedy of her life? I can’t even imagine.

Fans can hit Rogers up on twitter at trogers1. Cards and letters may be mailed to Rogers in care of the UC Berkeley Athletics Office:

Haas Pavilion #4422
Berkeley, CA 94720-4422

The team says it’s figuring out what role Rogers will fill for them now. I hope it’s an excellent one.