BOYS BASKETBALL: North Farmington's "Big Buddha" is improving, rising fast on recruiting circuit |
FARMINGTON HILLS – Jeron Rogers received the nickname of “Buddha” in large part because of his size.
That size - pushing close to 6-foot-8 right now - and a heavy helping of natural skill, has led Rogers, North Farmington's junior boys basketball star to becoming one of the state’s top players.
A genuine post power since his freshmen year, Rogers is quickly rounding into a more complete player every day.
No longer just a one-dimensional paint presence, he's recently developed an outside game to become even more dangerous.
“I think I've become more aggressive and worked on refining my perimeter skills to where I'm harder to defend,” said Rogers of the strides he's made in his hardwood artillery.“When my shot isn't falling, I can still take it to the basket and get to the free throw line. I'm able to do both now and that is how I help my team."
Starting in the Raiders' frontcourt for the past three years, he was a first-team all-league selection out of the OAA Red last winter, averaging 16 points and 8.5 rebounds per night and helping spur North Farmington onto a district championship.
So far this season, Rogers has been a double-double machine. And the Raiders are 5-0 for the first time in five years.
His most notable performances of the season have been his 34-point and 15-rebound effort in an early season blowout of Pontiac in mid-December (in only three quarters of action) and his 29-point, 10-board outing in a narrow, come-from-behind win over Lansing Sexton in the Motor City Roundball Classic.
North Farmington head coach Todd Negoshian said that along with Rogers’ improvements in becoming a better all-around player, the junior has also been a leader for his team on and off the court.
“His maturity has just been unbelievable,” he said. ‘The way he doesn’t pout and doesn’t hang his head. He takes credit when it’s given to him, but he takes the blame when it’s on him too. He’s really rounded into a complete player. He can shoot it from the free throw line now and he does a lot of the little things for us and they’re things that a lot of people don’t notice and he just keeps going in the right direction.”
This past offseason, Rogers left North Farmington with the intention of playing his junior year of high school hoops in Texas at Lonestar State power Bush High School, near Houston, while living with family.
But it wasn't to be and he returned less than three months later to rejoin the Raiders before the start of practice.
"I'm really glad to be back," he said. "I missed all my teammates and friends a lot."
Rogers noted with all of the pieces that the Raiders have on their team this winter, the goal for him and his teammates is to make a deep playoff run, concluding in the Class A final four in East Lansing come March.
“We want to make it to the Breslin,” he said. “North Farmington has not been past regionals and we’ve lost in the first round of regionals in most years and we want to get past that point and make it to Breslin.”
North Farmington figures to be a contender in a stacked OAA Red, which features the Raiders, Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills and Rochester Adams all as legitimate contenders for the league crown.
Rogers' dad is reti