UMBC basketball is the ultimate underdog.
Not only is their mascot an actual retriever, but after knocking off 1-seed Virginia as a 16-seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the program owns the biggest upset in the history of college hoops.
Now, they’re being led by a junior point guard who’s believed to be the smallest scholarship player in the history of NCAA D1 men’s basketball.
His name is Darnell Rogers.
He’s listed at 5-foot-2, 150 pounds.
Rogers currently leads the Retrievers with 14.0 points and 3.8 assists a game. He’s also pulling down 3.3 rebounds per contest, which is no easy feat when most opponents out-measure you by at least a foot.
UMBC’s recent game against LSU, who doesn’t carry a player listed under 6-foot-2 or 190 pounds on their roster, made for a stunning contrast:
In high school, Rogers starred at Indian Land High School (South Carolina), where he left as the program’s all-time leading scorer:
Darnell’s father, Shawnta Rogers, knowns what it takes to get buckets as the smallest dude on the court. He starred for George Washington University and won the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year award while being listed at 5-foot-4.
“This guy’s tough. He’s strong, he’s hard to get around,” UMBC head coach Ryan Odom recently told Pressbox Online of Darnell.
“Guys aren’t used to playing against a guy like him. He’s a unique player. He shoots the ball very well and he’s a competitor. I think he’s going to bring that speed that we need, the changeup, a little bit faster with the ball and has played the point his whole life, has played with high-level players. We feel very fortunate to have him here with us.”
Photo Credit: Gail Burton