Crystal Rome hits 2,000-point mark

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2002


RESERVE – Riverside Academy’s Crystal Rome achieved 2,000 career points during the third quarter of Wednesday night’s basketball home game. The landmark shot came after Rome sank a three-point shot, helping further the Lady Rebels’ lead. Rome, a junior, has been averaging approximately 30 points for each game leading up to the 2,000-point mark and scored 40 points against St. Martin’s Episcopal to take the honors.

“I checked my points at half time and counted down from there,” Rome said. “It was exciting, I wasn’t expecting to do it this game.” She said she was embarrassed after her attempt at the last three point shot she needed was blocked. Although she was nervous, she watched with wide eyes as her next attempt for three fell through the net. Immediately, the buzzer sounded and the referees stopped the game to award Rome the game ball.

Rome’s prior 30 points and numerous steals against the Saints led the Lady Rebels to 47-26 lead and a 68-53 win.

“I used to shot in the front yard every day,” explained Rome. She said at least one member of her family would be out in the yard playing with her and helping with the rebounds. Rome also credited her AAU coach Alan Frey and the coaches at Riverside for opening the door to her and helping guide her through her fruitful career.

“I just try to do my best,” she said, “but you can’t do it without a team.” Rome said her team of Lady Rebels has always been there for her, picks her up when she is having a bad game.

Her coach at Riverside, Sheremy Dillard, said she hoped Rome would make her 2,000th point either Wednesday night or Friday night during a home game.

Rome has lettered in basketball for four years, started for four years, has been a three-year all-District selection, three-year all River Parish selection and was the all-Metro and team MVP last year.

Last year, Rome helped take her Lady Rebels teammates to their fourth straight playoff berth and their first playoff win in more than 11 years.

Rome joined the Lady Rebels as a seventh grader and averaged nine points per game. Since age 10, she has been playing Spring and Summer basketball as a guard with the AAU team, Kenner Angels. While a part of the team, the Angels have won more than 15 state and national gold and silver medals, won the State championship five of six years and won two BCI National championships.

Rome has also participated in tournaments in various states, such as Minnesota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. During her two month break between the AAU team and the Riverside team each year, Rome is a member of All Star Focus, a basketball shooting program organized by Mark LaRose.

The shooting program has paid off one, two and three points at a time for Rome, as she has her name under four other school records. She was the youngest player to score 1,000 points for Riverside, has the most foul shots attempted in one game with 32, and the most foul shots made in one game, 28. Rome also netted the Riverside’s girls’ record for scoring the most points in one game with 44 points against the Grace King team.

Along her growing list of achievements, Rome has been invited to play basketball in Belgium and to try out for the U.S. Junior Nationals. Academically, Rome currently ranks seventh in her class, holding a 3.75 GPA. Being an honor roll student and a member of the Beta Club has helped her become a selection for Who’s Who Among American High School Students.