Former Hopkins Academy standout Sam’i Roe commits to Division I Nebraska-Omaha

  • Sam’i Roe, right, is shown during the basketball season playing for Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. Roe committed last week to play at Division I Nebraska Omaha. COURTESY INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Sam’i Roe, right, is shown during the basketball season playing for Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. Roe committed last week to play at Division I Nebraska Omaha. COURTESY INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Sam’i Roe, right, is shown during the basketball season playing for Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. Roe committed last week to play at Division I Nebraska Omaha. COURTESY INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Sam’i Roe, right, is shown during the basketball season playing for Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. Roe committed last week to play at Division I Nebraska Omaha. COURTESY INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

  • Sam’i Roe, center, is shown during the basketball season playing for Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. Roe committed last week to play at Division I Nebraska Omaha. COURTESY INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Sports Editor
Published: 4/28/2020 4:22:07 PM

Sam’i Roe’s path to Division I college basketball had several stops.

From New Jersey to Massachusetts, back to New Jersey, then Florida and Kansas; it took time for Roe to find his way to Nebraska.

“I’ve been through a lot and I’m just glad to be where I’m at right now,” Roe said. “I’ve spent these last couple years working hard to achieve my goals.”

Roe, a 6-foot-2 guard, made his latest stop official last week when he signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Nebraska-Omaha.

“I feel like I experienced a lot at every level of basketball I played,” Roe said. “I played for a couple coaches that have helped me in different ways.”

Roe was referring to Allen Ragland at Isaiah Christopher Academy in Atlantic City, and Bill Morosco at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas.

“Coaches have different philosophies and I try to take a little bit from each of them,” Roe said. “They taught me to be a more complete player. I like where my game is right now but to get to where I want to be there is a lot more work to do.”

Roe spent his high school freshman year in his hometown of Atlantic City. He then moved to the Pioneer Valley to live with his father, Lou Roe, who was working at that time for the men’s basketball program at UMass where he had a standout career.

In three years under Angelo Thomas at Hopkins Academy, Roe scored over 1,000 points and helped lead the Golden Hawks to three Western Massachusetts Division 4 Tournament titles.

Roe then spent a postgraduate year at Isaiah Christopher and a year at Palm Beach State College. He played this past season at Independence.

“In the past he was so known for his scoring ability and ball dominance but he became an unbelievable teammate and a team-first guy,” Morosco said. “The most impressive thing ... he became our defensive stopper, the tough glue guy that we needed to win. He went all in on what it takes to win.”

Roe improved during each of his junior college seasons.

“I got stronger in every way,” he said. “I feel like I’m a better all-around player than what I was before. I got quicker, stronger, faster.”

Roe averaged 6.5 points and 2.6 rebounds over 21 games for Palm Beach State. He had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.9.

In 32 games for Independence, Roe averaged 14.7 points and 4.8 rebounds. He had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.4.

“I feel like I’m still underrated a little but it’s up to me to prove that to everyone at the next level,” Roe said. “I’m just glad to be where I’m at right now. I’m going to continue to be humble and continue to work on my game, my craft and show people what my game is about.”

Roe will have two years of eligibility remaining. The Mavericks went 16-16 (9-7 Summit League) under Derrin Hansen, who just finished his 15th season in Omaha.

“They are going to get an extremely versatile winner,” Morosco said. “The way we build our players out here and develop guys is we run a five-out motion so we try to make sure these guys are all complete players when they leave here. He’ll be able to play-make, to finish, to pass, hit open shots, get to the rim. I think it’s a really good fit in terms of what they are looking for and what he provides.”

Roe also held offers from Central Michigan, University of Portland and Northern Illinois.

Omaha “was a good fit all around,” Roe said. “I got to build a relationship with the coaching staff.”

Roe is currently in Atlantic City, finishing class online and working out. He spends his time running on the beach and playing on a court across the street from his house.

“The plan is to continue to work on my game while all this coronavirus is happening,” Roe said. “Just keep working out, finish school well and just wait to see when I can get on campus.”

Mike Moran can be reached at mmoran@gazettenet.com. Follow on Twitter @mikemoranDHG.




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