Editor's note: Max Torres conducted the interview for this story.
Endyia Rogers knew Oregon was the right choice a couple of days after returning from her visit to Arizona. The decision came down to the two Pac-12 powerhouses after she transferred from USC, and she told Ducks Digest that she was more comfortable with the environment at Oregon.
"I just felt like it was the best fit for me," said Rogers, who announced her commitment on Sunday. "When I left Arizona, I thought about the pros and cons of each program, and after I sat there and thought about it, I was just like 'yeah, I'm going to Oregon.'"
After her mind was made up, it was time to call Kelly Graves to inform him of her decision.
"I kind of started off the conversation a little quiet and monotone," Rogers told Ducks Digest. "He was driving when I called him.
"I let him know I made my decision and he was just like, 'No way! Are you serious? I'm about to wreck my car! I'm sitting on cloud nine right now.'"
Rogers said that although it was nerve-wracking to call both Graves and Arizona Head Coach Adia Barnes, it was a relief to make the best decision that she was comfortable with. She had support from her family to help her throughout her decision process.
"They were very supportive through the process," Rogers said. "They liked each program and both coaches, but the ultimate decision was on me."
A factor in Rogers' decision was the opportunity for student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness. The Oregon women's basketball team is one of the most marketable programs in the country — Sabrina Ionescu jerseys couldn't stay on the shelves during her senior season at Oregon, and tickets to the Ducks' final home games that year were a hot commodity.
"Now that we're getting paid for our name, image and likeness, I feel like Oregon is the place to be," Rogers said. "I think that all eyes are always on their women's basketball team and their sports in general."
Rogers' ultimate goal is to get to the WNBA, and clearly, Graves and his staff have a track record of getting players to the league as four Ducks have been drafted in the last three drafts — including three in the first round of the 2020 draft.
But, first, she wants to help Oregon reach its ultimate goal.
"I feel like we have a chance to go deep in the tournament and win a national championship," Rogers said.
A big reason why she feels this way is because of the newly-formed Ducks backcourt with Rogers and Te-Hina Paopao, who were both All-Pac-12 selections a season ago. Rogers said that the workload will be "much less on me," and that the duo will make some noise next season.
"We'll be the best backcourt in the country, and it'll be hard to guard us," she said. "You can't guard both of us at once, so you have to pick your poison."
Matavao One of Numerous Freshmen Stepping up on Big Stage
Oregon's 2021 recruiting class made a huge stamp on the win over Ohio State.
The Ducks return some top players from last season, including Paopao, Sedona Prince, and Nyara Sabally. Rogers believes that she can put up numbers with her new teammates.
"I feel like I can get almost a double-double every game," Rogers said.
After her visit to Oregon earlier this month, Rogers told Ducks Digest that Graves is "a proven winner" and that she was looking to win at her new destination. She has a golden opportunity to do just that as she joins an elite Ducks program that has advanced to at least the Sweet 16 in each of the last four NCAA tournaments, including a Final Four trip in 2019.
"We are thrilled to welcome Endyia into our program," Graves said in a press release. "She is an extremely skilled player who can shoot it at a high level and be a leader for our team on and off the court. Endyia has proven that she can perform at an elite level in the Pac-12 and will bring energy and a high basketball IQ to our backcourt."
Rogers told Duck Digest that she plans to come to Eugene in mid-July, and she's ready to put on the Ducks uniform and get to work.
"I'm excited to finally be a Duck," she said. "I look forward to seeing you guys at Matthew Knight Arena, packing the house, and helping us win a few games."
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