Roller surpasses 1,000 points
Mason Roller, a junior from Purdy High School, crossed the 1,000-point mark near the end of the 2008 basketball season.
Roller achieved the feat in an Ozark 7 Conference game against in-county rival Southwest. The Eagles beat the Trojans 51-44 and Roller had 16 points in the contest. His 1,000th point actually came in the first half on a free-throw attempt.
"It meant a lot to me," said Roller, "although I didn't think a whole lot about it until it got right up on me."
Roller has been a leader for the Eagles for all three years of his high school career.
This year, Roller averaged 20 points per game and helped lead his team to the state playoffs.
"He is a hard worker and has good knowledge of the game, especially for a junior," said Purdy's head basketball Coach Chris Kennedy.
Roller believes his best attributes come at the offensive end. The junior likes playing inside despite often being matched up against larger opponents.
"It's kind of a game between the two of you," said Roller. "It's just a battle you're trying to win."
Roller is listed at 6'0", but even his coach said that might be a stretch. Conversely, Roller usually faces opponents that are 6'3 or taller.
"I've always been shorter and I've learned to combat that and try to play smarter than them," said Roller.
Roller's "smarts" show in his stats. The junior shot 75 percent from the free-throw line, 61 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc this season.
Roller credits his success to a multitude of people.
"I credit my team for always being there for me, my parents for always pushing me to do my best and then I had an AAU coach whenever I was younger and he helped me develop all the skills that I have."
Roller plays both basketball and baseball for the Purdy Eagles but has a special affinity for the latter.
"Baseball is my favorite, but I love basketball too," said Roller.
After his senior season at Purdy, Roller hopes to continue his baseball career at the collegiate level. He is the son of Kevin and Carol Roller.