Former Texas Wesleyan basketball player Dion Rogers is now helping coach the men’s basketball team as a fifth-year senior.
Rogers, 23, who is used to playing and not coaching, said the adjustment was definitely different.
“Coaching is far more different than playing,” he said. “It’s definitely a learning experience and something that can help me in the future.”
Rogers, a point guard, scored 691 points for the Rams last season, averaging 19.7 points per game, according to ramsports.net. He was named the tournament MVP as the Rams won the 2017 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, the team’s first national championship since 2006. He was also named the Chuck Taylor Most Valuable Player.
Rogers said that his perspective on basketball is not the same as when he was playing.
“Coaching gives you the opportunity to see many more mistakes and how things develop within a play,” he said.
As far as being coaching his former teammates, Rogers said that that really hasn’t been a problem for him.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s hard because we’ve already established a certain level of trust and respect for each other from when we played together,” he said.
Guard Demarcus Emanuel, a senior and education major, said that he enjoys getting to have Rogers help out with coaching this season.
“It’s cool having him still around,” Emanuel said. “He is a quiet leader, though.”
Emanuel also said that he respects Rogers as a coach and always listens to what he has to say.
“It’s not hard to listen to him because when he speaks he knows what he is talking about,” he said.
Emanuel said Rogers has also given players tips that will help team cohesion.
“He gives tips such as to remain as a family and to always trust the process,” he said.
Rogers said that even though he loved playing basketball, he doesn’t miss playing a whole lot.
“I don’t miss playing too much because I know that I’ll be back on the court again soon,” he said.
Rogers also said that he plans to be involved with basketball for the rest of his life even though he doesn’t really play much anymore.
“I definitely don’t think I’ll ever leave the game of basketball,” he said. “As of now I’ll play pick up basketball from time to time but that’s it.”
Rogers said he is very casual in his coaching style and that he doesn’t get angry and yell.
“I guess my coaching style would be laid back since I’m not really too involved but I would tell guys on the side what they could do better,” he said.
Forward Jeremy Crane, a senior and mass communications major, said that it’s nice to have someone with his mentality around.
“It’s nice to have someone with a winning mentality; he knows what it feels like to win big so it’s good to have him around with us on the court,” Crane said.
Crane said that it is easy to have Rogers on the sidelines because they have built a relationship from playing together last year.
“We already have a good bond from playing with each other in the past and it makes it easy to listen to him and respect what he says to me and the other guys on the court,” Crane said.
As far as coaching goes, Rogers never really thought that he would pick up on coaching.
“That’s not really what I had in mind because I never did think that I was the coaching type, but since I actually started helping out a bit I think there is a possibility of that happening,” Rogers said.