Roper lassos spot on German hoop squad
By Etienne Emanuel
After spending two weeks in training
camp for the Sacramento Monarchs of the Women's National Basketball
Association, Christen Roper will travel to travel to Germany
to play professional basketball in the town of Marburg.
The 6-foot-5-inch center, who played at Nordhoff High School,
and was three-time all CIF-SS Frontier League MVP and led the
Lady Rangers to a Frontier League title, as well as being named
All-State and All-County Academic her senior year. She is taking
a leave of absence from her final semester at the University
of Hawaii to pursue her basketball career.
Roper's life is more than sports - she was also named to the
All-WAC Academic Team. She also volunteered for several youth
programs for island kids.
"I will still be continuing my education," said Roper.
"All the foreign players on the team take language classes
at a small university in Marburg."
The Marburg Marlins are one of the top women's teams in Division
One of Germany's Federal Basketball League. The club won last
year and went on to represent Germany in the European Cup.
Back in the states, Roper was one of the most intimidating defensive
players ever at the University of Hawaii. She holds every shot
blocking record at the school and in the Western Athletic Conference:
most blocks per game, most blocks per season, most blocks in
a career the list goes on. She was also named All-WAC twice.
In her junior year, she tied
for 15th in the nation in blocked shots. She's also ninth best
in the history of U.H. for field goal percentage (464). Roper
also helped lead the Rainbow Wahine to the NCAA tournament three
out of her four years at the University of Hawaii.
After playing in the Waikiki Beach and Paradise Classic Tournament,
she was named MVP of the contest. Her four years at UH also earned
her the title of WAC player of the week, meriting a spot on the
All-WAC Tournament Team.
Roper turned down offers from San Diego State, Boise State, Wyoming,
and Oregon to attend the University of Hawaii and become a Rainbow
"When I was choosing schools, Hawaii seemed to offer the
best package. All the schools I looked at were relatively the
same regarding the academics, but the coaching staff and the
players here are what impressed me and swayed my decision to
Marburg is a city of approximately 80,000 people, and is 60 miles
north of Frankfurt. It will be Roper's first time in Germany.
"I am so excited to get
the opportunity to travel," she said. "It is something
I've always wanted to do - but also (I want) to improve my skills
and play against outstanding competition. I have played with
several European players before and they have such a different
style of play. It will really improve my game. And that is my
main purpose for going to play over there: to improve. And hopefully
come back and get picked up by one of the teams in the WNBA."
"We are very excited for her and just in general,"
said her mom, Debbie Roper. "We plan on going out there
to visit her, do some sight-seeing and watch Christen play professional
basketball in Germany. We couldn't be more proud."
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
NATIVE CHRISTEN ROPER looks to pass during one of this season's
NCAA playoff games. Roper recently earned a spot on one of the
hottest basketball teams in Europe.