Rogers High School basketball star returns home with a gold medal

Rogers High School basketball star returns home with a gold medal

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Zia Cooke left the United States as an upcoming junior at Rogers High School and a talented basketball prospect. Tuesday, she returned from Argentina a gold medalist.

Cooke and Team USA's U[under] 16 team won the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship over Canada in a 91-46 route.

When she returned to Toledo, tears streamed down the wells of her eyes when she say her welcoming committee.

"It was so amazing, I wasn't expecting all of these people to be here to see me," Cooke said.

In the championship game against the Canadians, Cooke put up 15 points.

She says he did not even expect to make the team, let play an important role in the team.

Cooke says this is her first time she's ever been out of the country, and it was different than she expected.

"Overall it was a great experience to be able to see different things and be somewhere else that I've never been before," Cooke said.

Cooke's Rogers Head Coach Lamar Smith says he thinks Cooke's work ethic is the reason she's gotten this far in her young career.

"First kid to ever do this in Toledo history," Coach Smith said. "So I am very proud because it's out of our program and like I said, we are just proud of Zia."

Emotional family members hugged Zia, saying they were happy to have her home. One of those who showed the most emotion was Zia's older brother, Stratman Cooke.

He says he wasn't able to watch Cooke's games in Argentina, but hearing how well she was doing from their mother made him proud.

"I was crying on the phone with my mom," Stratman Cooke said. "I was like, 'Wow, man my sister is amazing.'"

Cooke was awarded a plaque with her name on it and pictures of her in her Team USA uniform.

Once school starts up again at Rogers, the school will hold a ceremony. They will also hang her plaque up for all of her classmates to see.

As for Zia, she says after all the excitement in the last two weeks, she is ready for a summer being around friends.

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