GIRLS BASKETBALL

Hobart's Grayce Roach projects leadership role

2014-01-06T21:00:00Z 2014-01-09T14:16:07Z Hobart's Grayce Roach projects leadership roleHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

Grayce Roach had prepared herself for her senior season of basketball at Hobart as being her last year playing the sport competitively.

"I wasn't really going to play somewhere," the senior point guard said. "I had my mind set that it was my senior year and I would do my best to achieve the most that I could and be done with basketball."

Then her preparation started to show.

Roach was being approached by a few colleges after her summer workouts, when she decided to forgo her volleyball season in favor of basketball. Last week, she committed to IU Northwest, where she'll likely have the opportunity to spread her talent beyond the point.

"She has so much versatility," Hobart coach Mike Hamacher said. "She's a point guard for us, and she's good at it, real good at it. ... But my goal for the last four years is to develop a point guard to take her away from those duties and let her use her versatility all over the court. Unfortunately (with injuries), I haven't been able to do that."

"When I looked into basketball more and realized I could have money to have school paid for, this season really opened my eyes to what it would mean for me to keep playing basketball," Roach said. "I realize I'm not sure I'm ready for what my life would be like without basketball."

Roach leads her team with 15.2 points and 2.1 steals per game. Those numbers come from her offseason preparing for this year.

She broke her hand during last basketball season, and her concern for her health this season kept her off the volleyball court ("that was just my fun sport," Roach said).

She started the season in basketball shape, and added a summer of shooting drills from every spot on the court.

"I think she was close to being this good last year," Hamacher said. "I think a lot of it is in her approach. She's a lot more confident in her own abilities and more assertive on the floor, and willing to create and make plays, and now take her own shot. Going back to middle school, she was always the player you wanted to look for her shot more, but she's always been a facilitator. She's passed up a lot of good looks to get her teammates involved."

This year, when the shots are there, she takes them.

Keeping her teammates involved is what she does when no one else is looking. Roach has been a vocal leader for three years and makes sure her teammates stay positive and on task during practices and on the bench.

"The one or two times this year she wasn't at practice, for the ACT and SAT tests, there was a big difference, a noticeable difference," Hamacher said. "If the team starts practice slowly or the effort starts to slip, she'll jump in right away and not let it get too far. She'll get to it before we do."

Roach says the positivity comes from playing the game.

"I always try to look for the brighter side of things," she said. "With basketball, I try to be optimistic all the time. It's not too hard, because if I didn't have that, it wouldn't be fun."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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