Posted on June 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Before he starred at Colorado and became a first-round pick in the NBA draft, forward Andre Roberson developed his skills at Wagner High School and helped lead the Thunderbirds to the state tournament in 2009 and 2010.
As he developed into a college prospect, Roberson consistently demonstrated a tenacity and toughness that belied his thin frame.
I thought about Roberson's competitive ferocity and grit when he was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 26th pick in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday night. The Timberwolves actually made the selection for Golden State after completing a deal with the Warriors, and the Warriors subsequently traded the pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Roberson will play for the Thunder, which means he'll face the Spurs four times in the regular season. Although he's only 6-foot-7 and weighs 206 pounds, and lacks a strong offensive game, Roberson could prove to be an asset to OKC with his rebounding skills.
Roberson, a 2010 Wagner graduate, still had one year of college eligibility remaining.
He averaged 10.9 points and 11.2 rebounds in his last season at Colorado, and was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. His rebounding average ranked No. 2 in the country.
Roberson completed his three-year career at Colorado with 1,012 points and 1,045 rebounds. He is the only player in school history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, 150 blocks and steals, and 100 assists.
Coached by Clifton Ellis, Wagner lost in the Class 5A state semifinals in 2009 and 2010.
Roberson is the third of seven children born to Lisa and John Roberson, who were athletes at New Mexico State. Lisa played volleyball and John was on the basketball team.
Arielle Roberson, the fourth child in the family, was also a basketball standout at Wagner and plays at Colorado. A 2011 Wagner graduate, Arielle redshirted as a freshman at Colorado and played her first season for the Buffaloes in 2012-13.
Two older sisters, Ashlee (Texas Tech, 2007-10) and Amber (Texas, 2008-11) played basketball and volleyball, respectively, in college.