All the would-be golfers among us marvel at Josey Roberts’ 280-yard drives, along with her march to a COC championship by 12 strokes last fall while going from hole to hole wearing a protective boot for an injured ankle.
Linksters at all levels, well aware of the seemingly daily dedication golf demands, also have to be mightily impressed by how Roberts is also excelling as a combo guard on the hardwood. She's unique as a golfer who shines in another sport.
Roberts is faring well as a sophomore shooting hoops in her first go-around on the varsity level, despite the experience she gives up to teammates and opponents during the summer months. Due to her ambitious golf endeavors in June, July and August, she hasn’t played AAU ball since she was in the seventh grade.
“I'm always gone with golf, so it’s been tough,” Roberts said. “I try to get as much (reps) as I can get with the (basketball) team during the summer. I love basketball as much as golf. I'm willing to work for it.”
“She puts a lot of time into her golf,” coach Brandon Clift said. “She works on her (basketball) game on her own. To be able to compete at a high level for two sports says a lot about her and her work ethic.”
Roberts’ resume in golf thus far includes a tie for fourth at the Class 4 State Tournament as a sophomore and a fifth-place finish as a freshman. Some of her summer highlights last year were winning the Southwest Missouri Junior Golf Association’s Millwood Junior Masters 16-18 girls division and competing in a junior pro-am as part of the Price Cutter Charity Championship.
As for basketball, Roberts has shown enough shooting range to be one of Ozark’s top 3-point shooters and she has provided a steady hand while handling the ball.
“She sees the floor really well,” Clift said.
“My instincts and competitiveness help,” Roberts said.
Roberts is aware some coaches at other schools aren’t open-minded about giving a player valuable minutes who doesn’t participate in all of a team’s summer schedule. She appreciates Clift’s willingness to allow her at times work on her own.
“He understands my schedule,” Roberts said. “He’s been great. He’s been flexible with everything I've done.”