Marshall Rogers

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).

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(1) comment

Dennis Van Mathis

Hello basketball world, this is Dennis Van Mathis AKA ( OLD SCHOOL) a former Sumner High School basketball player 1975, celebrating the life of Marshall Lee Rogers the greatest basketball player I have ever seen. The first time I saw Marshall play was the 1969 Missouri State Championship Game at Kiel Auditorium. This was my first high school game so you can imagine the impression of a sellout crowd and watching the mighty Sumner Bulldogs at their alltime best. I remember noticing the tall 7foot players, the 6foot 8 players then I began to focus on the 6 foot 2 muscular Marshall Rogers. He was doing those layup drills with such ease floating to the basket, then as the Bulldogs began to shoot jump shots Marshall caught me eyes forever. his jump shot was as effortless as I have ever seen, his vertical leap was breathtaking. I was eternally impressed by the Maroon and white Bulldogs coached by John Algee who continued to coach as I entered Sumner High. I also had the privilage of being a Tandy man. Tandy is the historical recreation center across the street from Sumner High. This is the place where Marshall Rogers and the top high school, college, and pro players would battle for top dog of basketball. No referees, no coaches, and very few arguments, just pure basketball at its best. Marshall was so quick so fast so strong and jumped so high that no one could stop him. I would sit in the stands and watch his every move, I watched Marshall practice all by himself several times. Marshall Rogers would sprint up and down the court at game speed shooting running jumpers from every area of the floor as if he were in a real game. He would actually practice shooting running jump shots from half court making most of them, I could not believe my eyes on how hard he would practice by himself. It seemed as if he never tired. Now that Im older it suddenly dawned on me Marshall was only 15-18 when I witnessed his future greatness. Marshall was definitely my basketball Angel who showed me the way by example. I will always remember his work ethic and joy for the game so in my heart and spirit Marshall Lee Rogers will live forever as a true Sumner Bulldog, my greatest basketball inspiration, R.I.P. Marshall Lee Rogers

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