South Charlotte

Mustangs' sister act follows father's footsteps

At the end of the Holiday Invitational tournament in Raleigh, Roddreka Rogers accepted the tournament MVP trophy.

She had averaged 17 points and 10.6 rebounds in the three-game tournament for the Myers Park Mustangs girls' basketball team, which won the title.

When she got the trophy, she didn't realize she was the second in her family to do it.

Rodney Rogers won the tournament MVP award as a player at Durham Hillside in 1989 before playing at Wake Forest and several teams in the NBA. Now his daughters - Roddreka, a 6-foot senior, and Rydeiah, a 6-foot-1 freshman - are following his lead.

The sisters have led Myers Park to a 16-0 start.

"It was a great feeling," said Roddreka of the MVP honor. "Since (my dad) got it, it made me feel like it was a nice little connection."

It likely won't be the only honor Roddreka wins this year.

The sisters moved to Charlotte from Arizona in September. Roddreka, 18, had to sit out her junior year because of transfer rules, something the senior calls "the worst thing ever." She worked out with friends during the basketball season and played AAU ball with Rydeiah, 14, over the summer, the first time the sisters had played on the same team.

This year, the Rogerses added a post presence to an already talented Myers Park team that included the Timpton sisters, Saadia and India, and senior point guard Brittany Smith.

The two have similar size but different playing styles. Roddreka, averaging 11.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, is the stronger of the two and likes to bang inside, using spin moves to get baskets.

"In my five years of coaching, she's the first true back-to-the-basket player I've had," said first-year coach Dustin Terrel, who was an assistant for the Belmont Abbey men's team last year. "She wants the ball with a defender behind her to score. She can go both ways and she can do things on either side."

Since she had to sit out last year, Roddreka wasn't heavily recruited coming into this year but has gotten interest from several schools, including Boston College, according to Terrel. She's still undecided on where she will play next year.

Rydeiah, averaging 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, plays with more finesse. She's a good shooter who likes to face up her defender inside. She's also a good defender for the Mustangs, averaging 3.3 steals per game. Already showing so much promise as a freshman, Terrel has high expectations for Rydeiah.

"If she can get the work ethic to come in and work her tail off every single day, then she'll be the best player to ever come through the city ... at her position," he said.

Much of Rydeiah's development comes from practicing against her sister.

"We play against each other a lot over the summer practicing and stuff," said Rydeiah. "She's kind of helped me get a little stronger. I'm not there yet, but trying to guard her is pretty hard."

The Rogers sisters now are aiming for a state championship. In the holiday tournament, the Mustangs, ranked the No. 1 4A team in the state by, beat No. 11 Hillside, No. 7 Green Hope and No. 3 Millbrook, three of the best teams on the eastern side of the state.

After Roddreka won the same award as her dad at that tournament, many people told her she plays just like him.

Rodney wasn't able to make it to the holiday tournament, but he'll likely have another chance with Rydeiah. Maybe a third Rogers can win the MVP.

"I was happy, my dad was happy," Roddreka said of the award. "Now we're waiting on (Rydeiah) to get it. Hopefully she can get it and we'll have three."