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Amanda Rogers Harlem High School

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Mike Hopkins knows how much talent Amanda Rogers possesses.

Harlem High School's Amanda Rogers is a key player on the girls basketball team.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Harlem High School's Amanda Rogers is a key player on the girls basketball team.

TEAM PAGE: Harlem Bulldogs

Hopkins also knows the standout guard might, at times, try to make up for her team's considerable inexperience by taking over when the game gets tight.

"She goes too fast," he said. "You'll hear me screaming at her, 'Slow down. Slow down.' ... She's trying to push them, so she gets frustrated."

As one of two seniors on an otherwise freshman-laden Harlem High School basketball squad, Rogers said she is enjoying the balance between making the most out of her senior year and helping her teammates get better while gaining valuable experience.

"It's fun because I get to teach the girls what to do and show them how to do it," she said. "It's hard at the same time because, in games, they don't know and they don't have as much experience.

"They can do it; they just have to work at it and be confident."

Serving in a mentoring role alongside senior Macy McNair has not slowed Rogers. She opened the season with a game-high 25 points against Greenbrier on Nov. 16. The Bulldogs kept it close for most of the night before the Wolfpack pulled away in a 53-35 win.

In the defeat, Rogers displayed a versatility befitting a senior voted by her class this year as best all-around. She knocked down her team's only 3-pointer, hit a handful of mid-range jumpers and consistently got to the free-throw line.

Probably the characteristic that makes Rogers most dangerous is that she needs only a sliver of space between her and the defender to get her quick-release shot away.

"I like jump shots a lot," Rogers said. "Once I get my position, I can hit them. I can get on fire."

Rogers plans to attend North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Ga. She said it would be an added bonus if she were able to play basketball there.

Two years ago, Harlem finished 24-4. The star-studded team also featured Nicole Wells and her sister, Ebony.

When Grovetown High School opened last year, Ebony Wells was zoned for the new school. She didn't play last season because of an injury, but now the former teammates will get a chance to compete on opposite sides.

"It's more fun than anything," Rogers said of playing against Wells. "It's fun, kind of like a friendly competition."

Now playing her final season, Rogers remembers the transition from junior varsity as a freshman to varsity as a sophomore. She said Harlem's current freshmen have a unique opportunity.

"They have a chance to go all four years and be great when they're seniors," Rogers stressed.

She hopes to help them on the way there.

"I think I can bring experience and show them hard work," Rogers said. "I was at the very bottom, so I know hard work."


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