By Michaela Ard
As a player who is sweet and kind off the court but aggressive and tough on it, Rosslyn Beard may be considered the Sasha Fierce of Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball.
Beard, a senior guard, has played for the Broncos for four years, developing her skills as a powerful defensive player and team leader.
This season, the starting guard helped her team finish in second place in the conference with a 15-7 CCAA record and a 19-7 overall record. The Broncos enter the postseason today and are hoping to carry their four-game win streak deep into the playoffs.
“She’s a relentless player,” said Head Coach Danelle Bishop. “When she’s not out on the court it’s definitely noticeable, and we just kind of need her out there.”
So far this season, the kinesiology student has garnered 35 defensive rebounds and 36 steals. Beard has also maintained 73.9 percent shooting from the free-throw line.
At 5-foot-5-inches, Beard is considered physically short for a college basketball player, but her teammates and coaches alike believe she is at no disadvantage.
“She’s got a big heart, and I think heart can take over size any day,” said Bishop.
In addition to her formidable speed, talent and aggression on the basketball court, Beard is a caring individual that often puts the needs of others in front of her own.
“The first thing that comes to mind is unselfishness,” said teammate and roommate Megan Ford, a center for the Broncos. “She is a really good defensive player, but I think she gets it done on both ends of the court. I think her unselfishness creates other opportunities for other people.”
When Beard and Ford are not passing the basketball, they are passing the soy sauce at their favorite Thai restaurants, or watching television together in their apartment near campus.
“She’s great to live with and we get along really well,” said Ford. “She is just genuinely a nice person. She is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met and I think she has changed me a little bit for the better too because she is just such a good person.”
Beard was first introduced to basketball in third grade when she joined an Asian basketball league with some of her friends, and has been playing the game ever since.
“I thought it would be like a one week thing,” said Beard about the league. “But you get with a group of girls and you just grow up together, so we played tournaments and games.”
When searching for a college campus after high school, the San Francisco native was ready for a change from the big city, and CPP, home to fields of cows, sheep and horses, was just what she was looking for.
“I came down to check it out [CPP] and I just loved the campus,” said Beard. “I fell in love with the gym and I thought it was far enough away, but not too far.”
Beard has enjoyed her four years at CPP, but is now ready to return home after graduation and continue her education at a physical therapy school, where she can be closer to her family and her friends from the Asian basketball league.
Additionally, the Broncos will most likely be Beard’s last basketball experience as a competitive player.
“I want to coach the Asian team I was on,” said Beard, whose mother is Filipino, about her future prospects.
No matter where the road takes her, and whether or not she is a roster player on a team again, positivity and basketball will always remain in Beard’s life.
“I love being a part of a team,” said Beard. “I love the sport. It is a lot of fun to play, I enjoy it and it is something that I am very passionate about.”
Caity Hansen / The Poly Post
Rosslyn Beard is in her fourth and final season
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