Ridgway boys basketball center Sam Roselli had some highlights in the Elkers' run to the state semifinal this past basketball season including a strong fourth quarter in the state quarterfinal against VisionQuest which led to a victory.
From what he might learn this summer with basketball, he may have more to come.
Roselli will be part of the Rising Stars of Clarion team which will be participating in the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas from July 25-29, one of the premier high school summer tournaments in the country.
The adidas Super 64 is a chance for top high school players to get a chance to be scouted by collegiate coaches. Like the name suggests, only 64 teams nationally compete in this event. Roselli had a similar experience last season with the Rising Stars as he went to an AAU national tournament in Orlando.
“We’re going to Las Vegas for nationals because we qualified at Slippery Rock,” Roselli said. “We were runner-ups there and that qualified us for the national tournament in Vegas.”
The Rising Stars team members were elated when knowing about another qualification for a national tournament.
“It was great, we made it to the championship I remember. Half the guys were just saying, ‘Guys, we already made it.’ They just like the environment, they like the competition,” Roselli said. “It was a good feeling to qualify again especially after the experience you had last year.”
Roselli said his experiences at these national high school showcases have helped him become an all-around better basketball player.
“It definitely develops you as a player, it gives you opportunities for college ball,” Roselli said. “There are college scouts there. Mostly, it just all-around makes you a better player. It develops certain skills playing better competition. It definitely helps in high school because you’re playing all year-round."
Roselli and Eric Matheson went to Orlando as part of the Rising Stars last year and Roselli said the experience in Orlando will help him at the Super 64.
“You know what to expect,” Roselli said. “It prepares you all year-round for every tournament and all the competition you’re going to be seeing. It just opens your eyes to what you could be playing against.
“It was great. A bunch of different teams from across the country were there, it was a nice environment to be in,” Roselli said. “The competition betters yourself as a player and Orlando, you can’t really argue with that.”
Roselli said he has spent most of the spring at AAU tournaments with the basketball taking up his time.
“So far, I’ve probably had about five months of tournaments in,” Roselli said. “The tournaments are about every weekend and they practice every week. The weekends are mostly for the tournaments. It’s a lot for sure.”
Roselli spoke about the time sacrifice that he and his family have put in.
“You definitely sacrifice a lot of your time,” Roselli said. “I remember I missed a few high school things because of AAU. It takes up a bunch of your time. You don’t get to do some things you would like to do because you have to sacrifice for AAU. For things like this, it’s all worth it.”
Sam’s brother, Josh, also plays AAU basketball during the spring, often with different tournaments which can even be in different states.
“Between me and my brother, they really don’t have much time,” Roselli said. “They definitely sacrifice a lot of their time too. I’m definitely grateful for how much my parents put forth towards that. It’s been rough on all of us especially since they have to handle me and my brother.”
Roselli said there is a financial sacrifice as well and fundraising is being done to help support the trip. Roselli said his grandfather has made a quilt rack that is being drawn off and there will be a bake sale on July 13 at Northwest Savings Bank in Ridgway.