Tierra Rogers went to Cal on a scholarship. Her skills on the court were coveted and recruited, despite her heartache. During halftime, at one of her high school games in 2008, her father took a step outside. He never returned to the game. He was found gunned down in a still open murder case. It took a lot for Tierra to get back into the game and may never have if her coach hadn’t stuck by her side, encouraging and consoling the heartbroken teenager. She was a high school all-American and was considered one of the country’s top 20 college recruits and Cal newest star.
When she began at Cal, her passion began to resurface. At practice one day in September, Tierra pushed herself through a practice she wasn’t feeling well at blaming it on not eating that day. After passing out leaving practice, she was rushed to the hospital and held for two weeks. Tierra wasn’t suffering from low blood sugar, she had arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, meaning she could suffer cardiac arrest in times of physical or emotional stress.
Life had given her more in two years than some will experience in a life time. “I thought, How can God put all this on me?” Tierra shared. “I just lost my dad and now you want to take away something else I love?” But what Tierra was given was a second family. Her teammates have taught her the most important part of basketball she still had, a family of teammates.