Oak Grove’s Amanda Roller Overcomes Adversity To Rally Grover Teammates

Roller Lacerated Her Liver Earlier This Season

FARGO, N.D. — From the first time Amanda Roller touched a basketball, it was an instant connection.

“At a young age, you find what you’re better at,” Amanda Roller said. “When you continue on over the years and want to work hard, just holding the basketball in my hands, I knew it was something I could succeed in.”

A member of the Oak Grove Girls Varsity basketball team since eighth grade, there were some high expectations for Amanda going into her senior year.

Expectations were for her to get the Oak Grove school scoring record.

On her way to breaking the all–time scoring record, a life-threatening injury changed everything.

“At first, I thought it was a knee, because she just let out a holler,” Oak Grove head coach Mike Forsberg said. “I thought oh no.”

“On the bench it was pretty somber, the crowd went silent,” assistant coach Kelsey Jensen said. “It was too bad she went down like that.”

“I hear this cry, this cry I’ve never heard before,” Staci Roller, Amanda’s mom, said. “I knew at that moment there was something severely wrong.”

“I can’t breathe right now so what happened did my lungs collapse? I couldn’t breath for four minutes so it was quite scary,” Roller said. “When I got back to the bench and to the training table, I was like are winning? How’s the game going? When can I get back in the game. That’s just how I am.”

The diagnosis was a lacerated liver an injury never before seen in basketball.

“Finding out she had has a life–threatening liver injury is something I never expected to happen,” Staci Roller said. “Going into that game saying “Hey, good luck today, you shouldn’t be in the hospital at all with a liver injury.”

After her release from the hospital, Amanda received good news. She could finish out her Grover career in a different way, as a coach.

“Quite and effective because that’s just the way she is,” Forsberg said.

“She knows what’s going on on the court, she knows all the plays on the court and can help all those younger kids coming in,” said Jensen. “Just saying hey this is what works and what will not work.”

While Amanda knows her time is over at Oak Grove,she knows she can make an impact with her current role.

“If you help other people, say I teach them a move, someone on my team, seeing them do that in the game and the thrill that comes from that,” Amanda Roller said. “Helping others succeed in this sport is something I will carry on the rest of my life.”

“She gets to experience what it’s like to work with the other kids and see how the game developing,” Scott Roller, Amanda’s father, said. “Potentially coach them in such a way where maybe only a player that’s been playing with these kids can get them to do.”

After she’s done coaching up her teammates the rest of the season, her basketball career continues at the next level playing for the Concordia Cobbers.

“We’ve seen her break scoring records, break the press, she really shows her leadership, that’s obvious on the court,” Staci Roller said. “Now she gets to show it in a whole different way.”

“I think just being back on the court and making myself better is something I really just can’t wait to do,” Amanda Roller said.

Roller has received tremendous support from other programs in the area.

Oak Grove beat Hill Crest Lutheran tonight, 62-37.

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