RIPLEY, Miss. (WTVA) -- To most people driving down North Jackson Street in Ripley, a basketball hoop draping over the street is just a hoop. To Dayzsha Rogan it's where she developed a work ethic that would propel her to college basketball’s most prestigious tournament.
"Even at night we would be outside with the street lights," Rogan said. "We would be outside just shooting even when I couldn’t see but I was just still going to make sure I got my shots up."
Talking about that hoop with Rogan and her mom, Melissa brought up some good memories and some bad, like when Rogan was cut from the middle school basketball team in 7th and 8th grade.
"I remember I came home I cried to my mom and dad I said I wanted to quit to play ball anymore," Rogan recalled.
Her basketball career could have ended right then. Instead, Rogan’s father brought her outside to that basketball hoop on North Jackson.
"And she was crying really, she had tears, crying but still shooting I can remember like it was yesterday," Melissa Rogan said.
In high school, Rogan finally got her shot. She led the Tigers to a state championship appearance her senior year averaging over 25 points a game, but when it was time to go to the next level, she again was overlooked.
"I was wondering, I didn’t know what was wrong, I was like am I not, I know I am," Rogan said.
But again, her family was there to pick her up.
"I said what God got for you, He got for you, and what He got for you, no one can take it," Melissa Rogan said.
She found a home in Booneville with the Northeast Tigers. Her sophomore year, Rogan was named national player of the week five times and led the Tigers in points, assists and steals. Which caught the eye of Jackson State head coach Tomekia Reed.
"I was like you have to come play for me and I was able to convince her at the last minute and when she came on her visit, the rest was history," Reed said. "She was determined to show people who she was and what she was about."
Rogan’s work ethic and drive translated to an instant impact for the Tigers, she was named to the All-SWAC 2nd team and a SWAC final appearance. JSU lost in the final, and that meant one thing for Rogan: back to work.
"I told myself I want to be the player of the year," Rogan said. "So every day after practice I’d work out like two or three times a day just to get the player of the year."
And that’s exactly what she did. Rogan was the conference’s leading scorer and was named SWAC player of the year. Then she was named MVP of the SWAC tournament leading the Tigers to its first tournament berth since 2008.
A long way from getting cut in middle school and tears streaming down her face getting shots up with her dad to tears of joy hoisting a conference championship trophy.
"It was just so much that you gotta go through, especially being my size and people overlooking you," Rogan said. "But I took that as a positive thing and I kept working, and I kept working and I wasn’t going to give up."
Because of Coronavirus, Rogan has an extra year of eligibility and she decided to return to Jackson State. She said that this year, she wants to make it back to the NCAA tournament and this time get a win. And I wouldn’t bet against Dayzsha Rogan.