Ronald Rogers

Ronald Rogers

CULLOHWEE – Ronald Rogers, Western Carolina’s first men’s basketball All-America selection – an honor he earned three times during his playing career – is to be enshrined into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

This esteemed group will be enshrined during the 59th annual Induction Celebration on the evening of Friday, April 21, at the Raleigh Convention Center, starting at 7 p.m. A news conference will be held earlier that day at 2 p.m. at the convention center.

Additional information including tickets for the Induction Celebration is available at

Rogers is among a 2023 induction class that includes Rick Barnes, Jason Brown, Jeff Davis, Donald Evans, Tom Fazio, Ellen Griffin, Tom Higgins, Clarkston Hines, Bob “Stonewall” Jackson, Trudi Lacey, John Sadri, Jerry Stackhouse, Curtis Strange, and Rosie Thompson. Rogers is one of four inductees being inducted posthumously. This year’s planned induction of 15 individuals brings the total number of inductees to 400.

“This year’s class joining the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame once again reflects the great variety and rich sports heritage that the hall highlights for our state,” said Dr. Jerry McGee, president of the hall’s Board of Directors. “This group and their collective accomplishments in specific areas, from great athletes to highly successful coaches to special contributors, create another exciting chapter for the hall. We are extremely excited about honoring these outstanding individuals in our induction celebration.”

A native and lifelong resident of nearby Leicester, Rogers followed in the footsteps of his father, Conley Rogers, in playing for the Catamounts from 1949 through 1953. He was the first three-time NAIA All-American recipient in basketball, collecting the honor for the Catamounts in 1951, 1952, and 1953. Rogers established a school scoring record of 1,960 points that stood for 10 years during his time at Western Carolina College – now University.

Rogers currently ranks fourth in WCU program history for career points, trailing Henry Logan (3,290 points, 1964-68), Mel Gibson (2,020 points 1959-63), and Trey Sumler (1,996 points, 2009-14). His career scoring average of 21.5 points per game – accomplished before the advent of the 3-point shot – continues to rank sixth in program history.

Rogers was the North State Conference’s all-time leading scorer upon graduation after earning all-conference honors for three straight years. He was also the first North State Conference player to post consecutive 600-point seasons. All told, he scored in double figures in 82 straight games including a career-best 44 points in a game against North Georgia in 1953.

A charter member of the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990, Rogers was among the first Catamount basketball players to have his jersey and number (15) retired alongside Logan on Feb. 9, 2002. Rogers was also a member of the Western North Carolina (1999) and Leicester (2011) halls of fame. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 82.

Rogers joins an elite list of former Catamount Athletics Hall of Famers that have been enshrined in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame including former coach and administrator Bob Waters (2014); a former NFL official, Gerald Austin (2007); a former Catamount baseball player and MLB manager, Dave Bristol (2006); a two-sport standout at WCU and an accomplished high school coach Charles “Babe” Howell (2004); and men’s basketball standout and all-time leading scorer Henry Logan (2000).

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