Former Sumner High basketball star and NCAA scoring champion Marshall Rogers passed away last Thursday.
One of the great guards in Public High League history, Rogers was a former All-City and All-District performer at Sumner. He was also a key player of the Bulldogs’ powerhouse 1969 team that won the Class L state championship.
Rogers also has the distinction of being the only player from St. Louis to win the NCAA scoring title. As a senior at Pan American University, Rogers averaged 36 points a game in 1976.
To take one look at the thick, muscular Rogers, one would think he was one step away from being in the National Football League as a defensive back. Before becoming a collegiate scoring champion, Rogers was a three-year standout at Sumner for coach John Algee. During the 1970 season, Algee gave this assessment of Rogers.
“He was an Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor and Jo Jo White all rolled up into one,” Algee said, after Rogers scored 33 points against Webster Groves in the championship game of the Normandy Christmas Tournament.
Rogers was a key reserve guard for the Bulldogs’ star-studded Class L state-championship team in 1969. He scored 11 points off the bench in Sumner’s victory over Webster Groves in the state-championship game.
Rogers led Sumner to consecutive Public High League titles in 1970 and ’71. As a senior, he earned All-State and All-Metro honors after averging 26.4 points a game. In his three years at Sumner, the Bulldogs compiled a record of 71-9. Rogers was also a state champion in track and field in the triple jump in 1971.
After beginnning his collegiate career at Kansas, Rogers transferred to Pan American, where he became an all-world scorer. In just two years at Pan-Am, Rogers scored a whopping 1,507 points, which is currently fifth on the school’s all-time list.
In that magical 1976 season, Rogers scored 919 points to average 35.8 a game. He had a high game of 58 points against Texas Lutheran on Feb. 16, 1976. He still has four of the top 10 single-game scoring nights in the school’s history.
Rogers displayed the ability to score from anyplace on the court at any time. There were reports of his routinely pulling up from inside the half-court line to swish home rainbow jumpers.
Rogers was a first round draft pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1976. He spent one season with Golden State.
(Some of the information in this story was taken from Earl Austin Jr.’s book, The PHL in the STL: The Public High League, A St. Louis Basketball Legacy).