Rogers basketball player trying out for national team

Rogers basketball player trying out for national team

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Zia Cooke, a sophomore at Rogers High School, is one of the top-rated girls basketball players in Ohio.

Heading into this past basketball season, Cooke was already being recruited by big-name schools like UConn and Ohio State.

Last year, Cooke averaged 22 points a game and now she's getting more recognition. Cooke is one of 35 players that has been invited to tryout for the U-16 USA National Team.

"All I can say is it's a blessing to be able to get invited," Cooke said. "So it just makes me hungrier to make sure I get it done, and rep for my country, the USA."

The tryouts are in Colorado, and if she makes the team, she'll be heading to Argentina in June to compete as a member of Team USA.

"Just to get the gold medal, that's something I really want to do, and just rep USA, and for America I just want everybody to know that I come from a little town, I come from Toledo, and I made it on the USA team," Cooke said.

Cooke has competed in the tryouts before when she was in junior high, so while she knows what to expect, she said there's a little more at stake this year because she was invited this time around.

She's been doing three-a-days on the weekends, getting focused and ready for Colorado.

For Rogers Head Coach Lamar Smith, he says he couldn't be more proud of yet another accomplishment Cooke's made in her young career.

"I'm very proud of her," Smith said. "They keep coming, but she's young, so it's a lot more to come with Zi. So I'm very proud of her because she's putting the work in and putting the time in, so I'm very proud of her, and very pleased with the performance of Zi so far."

This comes at a time when Cooke is being recruited by some heavy hitters like UConn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio State and Michigan State.

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