Rogers opens up about her heart condition

October 9, 2009 6:35:31 PM PDT
A young high school basketball star who led her team to victory, in spite of the murder of her father, talked to ABC7 about the latest twist in her life. It's a potentially fatal heart condition that will stop her from playing the game she loves.

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"I just feel that, why, why do I have to go through something like this. After a year passed, why do I have to go through something like this," said Tierra Rogers.

Just weeks ago, Rogers was working out with teammates AT U.C. Berkeley. She was a high school sensation from San Francisco's nationally-ranked Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, looking to make her mark in college.

But after collapsing in practice, Rogers was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, a rare heart condition.

She had a defibrillator implanted at UCSF last week and she is medically ineligible to play basketball.

"Of course, I was devastated. I was like, this can't be real," said Rogers.

"Part of me, last night was thinking about her and I was thinking, I wish she had just one year, to experience everything. But she didn't and her Dad is with her," said UC Berkeley head coach Joanne Boyle.

Rogers' diagnosis comes just 20 months after her father Terrell was gunned down outside Sacred Heart during one of her games.

Terrell Rogers was a community activist who founded a group called Peacekeepers. Now, Rogers won't play, but she's still focused on her late father's words.

"My Dad always told me a lot of stuff like you're the best, you're going to do this in life and you're strong woman," said Rogers.

Rogers can't return to the court as a player, but she has no intention of leaving the game that she loves.

Someday she might coach. For now, she'll cheer.

"I still want to sit on the bench and cheer them on. I'm just going to be there to support them," said Rogers.

One thing is certain -- Rogers has been assured she will keep her four-year scholarship to Cal.

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