By Rebecca Carney
The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team is off to a strong start this season, going 7-0 for the first part of the season. The Blue Dragons are off to a hot start, but this would not be possible without the help of standout sophomore Dejanae Roebuck.
Roebuck, a sophomore forward from Olathe, has been the player to watch for the Blue Dragons this season. While Roebuck is having a successful season so far, the story has not always been the same for her.
Coming in as a freshman, Roebuck didn’t know what to expect. She was not the dominant player fans have seen on the court this season, but more fearful and shy as a freshman.
“As a freshman I was a little more timid,” Roebuck said. “I didn’t really know how to take charge. I think now that I know what to expect, I’m definitely more of a leader on the team.”
Roebuck improving is something the coaches have noticed. Roebuck has improved on her skill in all positions and is someone who the coaches want out on the floor.
“She has definitely come out of her shell. She was timid at times and played on her heels a lot. She was non-aggressive and has gotten stronger and has more confidence,” Blue Dragons coach John Ontjes said. “She has expanded her game to where she can play on the perimeter. She has become a very versatile player for us.”
Roebuck is one of the leaders on the team, but the position wasn’t handed to her overnight. A lot of work and dedication was put into becoming the player she is today. Roebuck worked hard during the off season, practicing and getting extra shots up when she could.
The hard work is showing up, especially in games, as Roebuck is making 55.4 percent of her shots and shooting 43.8 percent from the 3-point line. Out of the seven games played, Roebuck has started in all of them and is averaging 17.4 points per game.
Along with putting in the extra work outside of practice, Roebuck is someone who her younger teammates look up too. Conference play is starting to gear up for the Blue Dragons and the returning players know what to expect. The freshmen look up to and follow the sophomore’s examples on and off the court.
“I think that as sophomores we know what to expect and we have to help them get a feel for how the game is played and the pace we play at,” Roebuck said. “I think they are definitely coming along pretty well.”