Arielle Roberson growing up for Colorado
SAN FRANCISCO – Arielle Roberson had quite the redshirt freshman campaign in Boulder: 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, both good for top 20 in the Pac-12. Third on the team in blocked shots. Fourth for Colorado in steals. And, oh yeah, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, as voted on by the coaches.
It helped that she had a pretty good support system around her. She wasn’t the No. 1 option on Linda Lappe’s squad that won 25 games and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine years; that would be Chucky Jeffery, the all-everything, tough-as-nails guard who led the team in scoring and rebounding. She also wasn’t the only Roberson on campus, as her brother André was a star rebounder on Tad Boyle’s squad.
Things will be different in 2013-14, however. Not that she won’t have support on campus – Lappe has done a tremendous job in Boulder, going on her fourth year now – but both Jeffery and big bro are no longer on campus (Chucky played in two games with the New York Liberty in the 2013 WNBA season, while André is with the Oklahoma City Thunder).
Hearing her speak at Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day at Pac-12 Studios on Thursday, it's evident that Roberson is ready to embrace a larger role.
“I expect a lot from myself… I wanted to be the leading rebounder last year,” Roberson said. “I feel like there’s an expectation of myself and the rest of my team that we should all pull our weight.”
Of course, it can be tough not having your brother by your side anymore, especially since Arielle and André had gone to the same school from elementary on up. It just means that there’s more of an opportunity for personal development.
“I really miss André more and more each day,” she said. “When I ask him for pointers on things, he just says ‘believe in yourself’ and I’m starting to believe in myself… I feel like I’m growing up every day.”