Horizons Beyond Verizon
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 00:03
As men’s basketball star Otto Porter Jr. capped off a phenomenal sophomore season as a campus hero and national sensation, Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers was quietly concluding an historic four years on Georgetown’s women’s basketball team. While her team finished with a disappointing 15-16 record, Sugar shined, earning all-Big East honors and leading the conference in both scoring and steals. Four illustrious seasons have made her the all-time career leader in points, three-pointers and steals for the women’s team.
When she graduates in May and likely prepares for the WNBA, Rodgers will leave the Hilltop as one of the most accomplished athletes — male or female — in school history.
Rodgers’ athletic prowess, however, has largely been ignored. There are no Twitter handles devoted to singing her praises, no Facebook fan page with thousands of likes, not even a Wikipedia page to catalog her feats during four seasons of dominance. If the argument that Georgetown students are far too obsessed with their men’s basketball team would fall on deaf ears, perhaps it would be fairer to say that we are far too prone to overlook our other athletes that don’t play at Verizon Center.
In no way should the accomplishments of players such as Porter or junior guard Markel Starks be diminished in the eyes of their fans. But it is time for Hoya fans to expand their horizons when searching for athletes to call heroes. In January, Porter’s breakout performance against the Louisville Cardinals breathed new life into a student body held down by dreary weather and post-break blues. Rodgers’ efforts this winter were equally inspiring. In February, Rodgers’ back-to-back three-point shots late in the second half tied the game en route to a last-minute victory for the Hoyas against the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The principle applies beyond the realm of basketball as well. When the men’s baseball team swept the Princeton Tigers in two games last week, junior right fielder Christian Venditti powered the team with a two-run home run and a walk-off single. In the men’s lacrosse team’s conference opener, sophomore Reilly O’Connor and senior Travis Comeau combined for eight goals in a 16-8 shellacking of the Providence Friars.
On Otto’s off days, other star Hoyas are competing at the highest levels of collegiate sports. It’s time we celebrate them, too.