Former Grizzly great Roupp aims to play for SOU

One of the most accomplished players to ever bounce a basketball at Ashland High may be bringing her soft shooting stroke back to town as early as next week.

Former AHS all-star and conference MVP Jamie Roupp has transferred from Portland State University to Southern Oregon University and is hoping to gain eligibility Monday and join the Raiders on the court Tuesday at Simpson.

Roupp, a 5-foot-9 guard who earned a Division I scholarship from Washington State in 2006 before transferring to Portland State, has two years of eligibility remaining. She hopes to burn those at SOU, where the No. 11-ranked Raiders are gunning for their third straight trip to the NAIA Division II national tournament.

"I realized that (Division I basketball) was great, but I had the desire to come play for the love of the game, and I felt like I could do that (at SOU)," Roupp said.

Itching to play a key role, Roupp, who played sparingly at both Washington State and Portland State, relayed her plans to PSU head coach Sherri Murrell prior to the season and talked to SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy about transferring in mid-November. Roupp recently completed her final term at Portland State before arriving in Ashland on Wednesday and participating in her first SOU practice Thursday.

"It was so much fun," Roupp said. "They were so welcoming and having a good time. The first time I met them all was at a shootaround during Thanksgiving break, and they were all laughing. It's the environment I was looking for."

Kennedy, who said he tried to recruit Roupp when she starred at Ashland, expects the former Southern Oregon Conference player of the year to fit right in.

"I think we're getting somebody who's definitely basketball smart, and she's competitive and will do whatever it takes to win," he said. "We have a really good team, but I think she's going to add just another level that will help us get to where we want to be at the end of the year."

Roupp said she recently found out that has a fractured vertebrae and has been playing with it for three to five years. She does not, however, expect the injury to get in the way of her desire to play for the Raiders.

"I love basketball," she said. "I can't imagine not playing and I have some other memories I want to make."

Roupp led Ashland High to the big-school state semifinals in 2006, her senior year. The Grizzlies wound up placing fifth, then the highest trophy nab in school history. During their co-league championship campaign, Roupp paced the Grizzlies in five statistical categories.

A fine passer and solid outside shooter, Roupp could help the Raiders spread the floor and make life easier for forward Jacki Speer, one of the best low post players in the country.

"(Roupp's) going to be able to hit key shots and she can get to the line," Kennedy said. "In our offensive system, especially with (Speer) in the middle, that's going to provide something important."

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