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CLEARMONT — After her basketball-intensive experience at Arvada-Clearmont High School, Bailey Roebling is ready for college hoops.
Roebling was a two-time All-State volleyball selection and was an All-State basketball player as a junior for the A-C Lady Panthers. She made 1A all-conference this season.
On Monday, she signed her national letter of intent to play basketball for Gillette College on combined athletic/academic scholarship.
Roebling was still in recovery, surrounded by her grandma, parents and brother, after she missed the final event of her prep sports career, state track last weekend because she had to have her appendix removed.
Her excitement was no less apparent.
“I knew I wanted to play either volleyball or basketball in college but wasn’t sure which,” Roebling explained. “Last year I really found a love for basketball.”
With just seven players listed on the 2012-2013 Lady Panthers roster, Roebling played all over the floor from the point guard position down to the post. Even with her size, she was an able ball handler, something she’ll likely use in Gillette.
She knew she liked Gillette College, about an hour drive from her hometown Clearmont, right after her visit and some hard selling from Lady Pronghorns head coach Will Rider. He sought out the combination guard, impressed with her progression.
“I’ve been watching her since she was a sophomore, and she’s made steady increases and improvement since that time,” Rider said Monday afternoon. “She has come from a small school where she has had to play a lot of positions, and that’s going to get her greater versatility at our level.
“She won’t have to play the post position any more, thank goodness, and she’s looking forward to that,” he laughed. “We can run her anywhere from the 1-2-3.”
Roebling scored 13.3 points per game in her senior year for the Lady Panthers, leading them sixth-place at the 1A girls state tournament in March. She finished tied as the team’s leading scorer with junior point guard Shayna Kretschman and was the leading rebounder, bringing in 8.7 per game.
“She did a lot for us last year and I think that will help her in Gillette,” A-C head coach Farrah Patterson said.
“She’s a really hard worker, so she’ll do fine.”
Roebling watched Kretschman take over point guard responsibilities this year, which helped her grow as an off the ball scorer.
“My coaches were really supportive here,” Roebling said.
“People have told me I should go to Buffalo or a bigger school because I’ll have better opportunities, and I thought about it at one point.
“But I said ‘I’m not just going to leave my school and go do what I want to do, that’s not very fair to my team.’ Being from a 1A school, if you’re a good basketball player, you get to play all the positions and you get to know them really well.
“People have told me that coaches don’t recruit 1A players…but this coach, he’s from Glendo so he understands that bringing a 1A player is different than bringing a 4A player. He understands that it’s going to take more time for me to adjust.”
She joins a Gillette College team that had the most wins in the Region IX conference last year (28-6), and was nationally ranked as high as No. 12. For Gillette, they get a player with potential to be molded into what they need her to be.
“It’s difficult, usually the first year it takes a transition because it’s a whole another level of play,” Rider said of the transition from 1A basketball to the JUCO level.
“It’s another speed to the game that they haven’t learned yet.
“We typically have 1A, 2A players on our team, and they typically step in and by the end they’re making great contributions,” Rider said.
“That’s what we’re looking for Bailey to do, learn and grow and find that extra gear and that extra level, then we can turn her loose and see what happens.”
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