Alexis Rogers was playing in the Deep South Classic this April and one of the gym sites for the tournament was Duke University, a school she was considering for her college basketball career. The 6-foot-1 Lakota West (Cincinnati) standout was looking forward to making an unofficial visit, but NCAA rules require players to wait 24 hours after the evaluation period ends to make a visit, so it never happened.
A little more than two months later, Rogers finally made that visit and verbally committed to the Blue Devils.
Ranked No. 91 in the 2009 class by ESPN HoopGurlz, Rogers made three other unofficial visits -- to Illinois, Vanderbilt and Xavier. Three more schools -- Florida, Penn State and Purdue -- were pushing for visits.
The biggest factor for Rogers wasn't even basketball-related. She was blown away by the research hospital at Duke and especially the "really big labs." Rogers aspires to study children's clinical psychology; she is interested in why some girls step up in groups to be leaders while others just follow.
"I'm more of a leader, but the type who listens to other people's ideas," Rogers said. "I'm not the tyrant leader."
Rogers loves the chance to be a part of the new tradition being built under Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie. She also loved that McCallie didn't just talk to her about her strengths but also the areas she needs to improve on.
"[McCallie] sold me on consistency," Rogers said.
Consistency is a word Rogers uses often. She wants to become a "180 Player," a term that refers to adding a player's field goal, free-throw and 3-point percentages.
On the basketball court, Rogers is best known for her versatility and defense. She has the quickness to play on the perimeter and her build suits her to playing inside. She's neither the prototypical power forward nor the classical guard, but a basketball player who will give Duke depth at as many as three positions. She is best offensively on the dribble attack. Approaching the court with an aggressive attitude is her biggest obstacle.
"She's such an unselfish kid and focuses on her defense," said Jerry Allen, her Cincinnati Heat Premier club team coach, "but she can flip the switch offensively."
Rogers has added a fluid midrange shot to her repertoire and is working on her 3-point percentage. Defensively, she is aggressive with the right amount of nastiness to be dominant on that end of the floor. The meanness on the court is something McCallie was excited about, Rogers says.
Off the court, Rogers loves working with kids and was working a basketball camp for youngsters, ages 5-13, when contacted about her commitment. She also is gifted musically. She plays both the piano and the saxophone. She started on the piano in third grade and the sax in the sixth grade and also writes her own music. Rogers doesn't aspire to do it professionally but is passionate enough about it to continue it as a hobby.
Duke's 2008 class was ranked No. 5 in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz. Rogers represents a great start for Duke's 2009 class and complements last year's guard-heavy group with a multi-positional player.
Chris Hansen covers girls' high school basketball nationally for ESPN.com and leads the panel that ranks and evaluates players for the network. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.