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A tiny guard with a potentially big future

A tiny guard with a potentially big future

FGCU's Rogers only 5-foot-2
A tiny guard with a potentially big future
Florida Gulf Coast's 5-foot-2 guard Darnell Rogers slaps hands with 6-foot-6 teammate Christian Carlyle.
Photographer: Eric Jenks/For The Daily Gazette

The shortest active player in NCAA Division I men’s basketball — and perhaps the shortest scholarship player in NCAA Division I history — made his debut Monday night for Florida Gulf Coast against Siena College.

Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-2 freshman, played six scoreless minutes for Florida Gulf Coast in its 86-53 win against Siena at Times Union Center. He registered an assist, but more is expected of him in the future.

“I think he’s going to get in the rotation,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Joe Dooley said. “I really do.”

Rogers is the shortest player currently in Division I men’s basketball by three inches. Mount Saint Mary’s Junior Robinson is a 5-foot-5 senior.

Per Florida Gulf Coast’s game notes provided Monday, Rogers is the shortest-ever known scholarship player in Division I hoops. Not all rosters from decades ago of some programs could be confirmed.

Rogers, a 150-pound Baltimore native, mostly defended Siena redshirt junior Kadeem Smithen. The 6-foot-3 Smithen said he was a little extra cautious when matched up with Rogers.

“I just had to stay lower on my dribble,” Smithen said. “I had to keep my handle tight.”

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at mkelly@dailygazette.net or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter. For more coverage of college basketball, head to dailygazette.com/blogs/the-outlet.

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