Darrione Rogers: A Blue Demon for Life


Emma Thompson

Junior guard Darrione Rogers fires a jump shot in DePaul’s loss to Marquette at Wintrust Arena on Jan. 4.

Growing up locally in the Western suburbs of Chicago, junior Darrione Rogers had a passion for basketball many 10-year-olds don’t. Rogers was invested into head coach Doug Bruno and Blue Demon basketball since she could remember. 

“I’ve been around DePaul and Doug Bruno since fifth, sixth grade,” Rogers said. “My dad would take me to a lot of DePaul games, like versus Marquette, or UConn, so I’ve allows been around DePaul. 

Rogers is no stranger to basketball’s biggest stage. She’s dominated since her freshman season at Lake Park West High School.Through her 90-game career, Rogers averaged 24 points per game, nine rebounds and three steals. 

By her senior season, she was recognized as a top-50 player in the country and was selected to the Jersey’s Mike’s High School Girls Trophy Watch List. ESPN also listed Rogers as a five-star prospect.

When Rogers’ career at Lake Park West was all said and done, she totaled 2,191 career points, all tallied throughout just three seasons. Her career-best games were 49 points against Hinsdale South, and 45 points and 21 rebounds against Batavia. 

“Darrione was built for this,” Lake Park West women’s basketball head coach Brian Rupp said. “I remember her going into her freshman year. I was at an AAU tournament before she was a Lake Park Lancer and there was hype all around her and she just had this ability to be in the moment.” 

Following her senior season, where Rogers took her Lancers team to the IHSA 4A final four in 2020, she had to make a decision on where she would play her college ball.  

Being heavily recruited by Bruno and his staff, Rogers decision to make her way east and commit to DePaul was a dream fulfilled because of her close and early childhood connections to DePaul.

“DePaul showed a sense of loyalty,” Rogers said. “Being loyal to me when I tore my ACL in my freshman year of high school just showed me that they truly care about me and this is the program I want to play for.” 

In her freshman season the highly-touted guard made an immediate impact for Bruno. With DePaul being a perennial top-25 best program during her freshman season, Rogers played in 24 games and started in four of them. 

She broke out against No. 5 Louisville on Dec. 4 on the national spotlight in the Jimmy V Classic game, where she had at the time her career-high 25-points. The work Rogers put into her game night in and night out was credited to not only her, but also her father and his drive to want to see his daughter strive for greatness. 

Rupp said Darrione and her father Darwin Rogers were always trying to get into the gym, whether it was at 1 a.m. or in the middle of the day. 

Rogers says her father is her biggest fan and also her biggest critic. Whether it is a bad game for Rogers or a career night, he has always been in her corner to congratulate or give his input of some kind. 

“My dad has played a huge role,” Rogers said. “I can actually say that my dad is a huge reason for the kind of player I am today. He was the one who always drove me to practices and just, you know, just pushed me. I’m thankful to have my dad and my mom as well, make those sacrifices.” 

Rogers was named to the 2020-21 Big East All-Freshman Team and was honored once with the Big East Freshman of the Week. 

From there on, Rogers’ growth seems to  go further every game. In her sophomore season, she started all but one game for Bruno, while averaging 29 minutes a game. She averaged 10 points per game, which was second on the team. She notched three double-doubles in that season as well, and was second on the team with 62 threes. 

She continued to rack up the accolades in the conclusion of her sophomore season, with her being awarded the 2021-22 Pat Ewers Unsung Hero Award. 

The growth also translated for Rogers in the classroom. A sports communication, promotion and publicity major, Rogers has disciplined herself as a student athlete to receive the highest grades possible. 

“I’m really just trying to bring home all A’s and just better myself in the classroom,” Rogers said. “Just trying to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. As long as I’m trying hard and just really get all A’s and if needed a B or two, but really just all A’s.” 

With expectations to take the next step, Rogers has met them and put the college basketball world on notice this season.. 

Her scoring average has jumped from 10 points per game in her sophomore season to 18 a game this season. With a depleted injured roster, her game has strived as the teams best passer. 

On Dec. 12 against Howard, Rogers recorded her first ever triple-double. Her stat line finished with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. This has only been done six times in the women’s program history. 

More recently, on Feb. 1, Rogers had a career-high 12 assists against Creighton on a night where her scoring was struggling. 

“I think it is happening right now in front of our eyes actually,” Bruno said. “Where this total consistency of passing, sharing, getting open threes, learning how to get open threes off the ball then rebounding. I just see her really becoming a totally another level player.” 

Outside of basketball, Rogers is like anyone else. She values her family time and enjoys playing video games to clear her mind when she is away from the game. 

Junior Kendall Holmes was roommates with Rogers and said she is pretty outgoing once you get to know her. She makes people laugh and she is great to be around.  

When Rogers was asked about what kind of legacy she wants to leave behind, she said she doesn’t want to be known for just being a shooter or a scorer. 

Rogers is currently fourth in the Big East in scoring and leads the team with 5.6 assists a game. On Nov. 20, Rogers reached a new career-high with 36 points, another example of her growth this season. 

“I want to lead DePaul to places that they have never been to before,” Rogers said. “I want [people] to know the impact I made on the game all around, and how I was able to help my teammates be better players.”