Glenelg Country School's Rozanski has taken his game to another level

Boys basketball

February 14, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The world of amateur sports forces athletes and their parents to make a number of difficult choices.

Tough questions never seem to end: Should an athlete focus on one sport, and if so, should it be the one he's best at, or the one he likes the most?

Should he travel long distances to participate in youth-league competition to play on the best team possible?

Should he switch from a high school with a high-powered sports team that plays in an elite-level conference to a school with a better academic reputation, but lesser athletic program?

Sean Rozanski of Ellicott City has faced all those tough questions, and his answers have led him to Glenelg Country School, a private institution where the 6-foot-1 junior guard has put a charge into the basketball program, and where the institution has, in turn, enhanced his academic environment.

Rozanski, who is leading the Baltimore area in scoring with a 27-point average, transferred from Cardinal Gibbons this fall in hopes of raising his academic performance.

Gibbons plays basketball in the rugged Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference with the likes of Calvert Hall and Archbishop Spalding. Glenelg Country plays in the MIAA C Conference - a mighty drop-off in competition. The Dragons have never won a C title, and failed even to make the six-team playoffs last season.

But Glenelg Country has much smaller class sizes, and teachers who are always willing to stay around and give a student some extra help, says Rozanski. And that kind of attention is just what he needed.

"I struggled the first couple of weeks academically at Glenelg," Rozanski said. "But now, in second semester, my grades are picking up."

Glenelg's basketball fortunes have also picked up, thanks in large part to Rozanski. The Dragons are 11-4 in the league and have clinched a playoff spot.

"Sean is the best talent in the C Conference," Dragons coach Charlie Stewart said. "He's a great shooter, a good passer and a super foul shooter. He's aggressive to the basket. If you get in his face, he blows by you."

Rozanski scored a season-high 49 points against Annapolis Area Christian on Jan. 11. He scored 46 points against Mount Carmel on Dec. 21.

Rozanski said his college choice will be based on the quality of the academic program, not on basketball.

He acknowledges that the competition at the C Conference level represents a drop.

"I didn't know a whole lot about what I was getting into basketball-wise," he said of his transfer. "Some teams are pretty competitive. Some are not. I just try to make everyone I play with play better. I don't think of myself as a star. I just don't like losing, so I do what I can to win. If I put up a lot of points and we still lose, then that's a negative to me."

He understands that for a lot of his teammates, basketball is a second sport.

"I like the kids on my team. They work hard and take it seriously," Rozanski said. "Someone like our captain, Mike Cox, is not a gifted athlete, but has made himself into a player and he's my role model as a student."

Rozanski said he thought he could do well at the C Conference level. "But I didn't think I'd average 27 points."

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