From Suffolk to the World: Suffolk roots helped Rodgers excel in basketball, life

Published 7:23 pm Friday, April 21, 2023

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By Matthew Hatfield

Contributing writer

Ta’Shauna ‘Sugar’ Rodgers dreamed of one day making it on the big stage in women’s professional basketball. Thousands aspire to get there, though only the select few with the unique gifts and talents get to fulfill that goal.

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Rodgers blazed her path at King’s Fork High School in Suffolk, then starred at Georgetown – where she earned 2010 Big East Freshman of the Year honors – and went on to become the all-time leading scorer for the Hoyas with 2,518 points.  

A three-time AP Honorable Mention All-American and four-time First Team All-Big East selection, Rodgers then got the opportunity she worked all her life for a decade ago.

In 2013, Rodgers was chosen in the second round of the WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. She went on to win a WNBA Championship that year and later received All-Star honors in 2017 as a member of the New York Liberty, where she was selected as the league’s Sixth Woman of the Year.

For her, it all began in the Peanut City, something she’s embraced and worn with pride throughout her playing career and now as she embarks on the coaching side of things.

“The opportunity to represent my city has been an honor.  It’s a privilege to be able to show to youth what they can do with a dream, perseverance and hard work,” noted Rodgers, now an assistant women’s basketball coach at William & Mary after prior coaching stints with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces and at her alma mater, Georgetown.

In addition to playing and coaching, Rodgers serves as an ambassador for Up2Us Sports, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting underserved youth by providing them with coaches trained in positive youth development.

Through it all, she is constantly reminded to remember her humbling beginnings. 

“I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if I hadn’t gone through what I did growing up in Suffolk,” Rodgers said.