OVERTIME WITH BROOKE ROSS
BY DON LOWE | PHOTO BY MARK STRICKLAND PHOTOS
Siloam Springs Lady Panthers Senior Basketball Star Brooke Ross hopes for a terrific finish to her career, while following up a solid junior campaign when she averaged nearly 13 points per game and grabbed 7.7 rebounds each outing along the way to being an All-State and All-Conference honoree. Ross isn’t quite sure what she’ll do after graduating from high school but is pondering the possibility of a career in the military. Either way, Ross is focused on helping the Lady Panthers put together a memorable 2022–23 season on the hardwood.
What is your first-ever memory on the basketball court?
The first thing I remember is standing in line, waiting my turn to shoot. This was around age five. It was a simple drill: Wait in line until it’s your turn to shoot. I remember loving it because I was so tall, I didn’t have to use as much strength as some others to get the ball in the hoop.
What coaches have helped you improve your game the most and how have they been beneficial to your development?
Chess Stephenson (2015–16) helped me improve basic skills, like dribbling and shooting. Janet Moore (2017, 7th grade Siloam Springs Junior High team) was my first school team coach. She helped me learn to take advantage of my size down low. Tim Rippy (2020–22, Siloam Springs varsity girls) was head coach for my varsity team for two years and helped me improve my overall game. He helped me learn to be a leader. Ryan Scogin (2018–20) was my first AAO coach. I learned to play with girls from other schools who had different skill sets than me. Steve Sanders (2021–22, Flight Elite AAO) was my last travel team coach. He helped me improve my dribbling, shooting and post skills. Being on his team let me play with other skilled, college-bound players and made me better.
What is your favorite pro women’s basketball player and what is it about her game and style of play that you like so much?
My favorite WNBA player is Candace Parker. She’s unselfish with the ball and makes big plays when needed. Every movement she makes flows with what she’s trying to do, especially when she’s in the post. She’s a center/forward and so am I. She’s not limited to that position because she’s versatile and that’s inspiring to me. I think Candace is a great person on and off the court. In a game, she keeps herself well-composed and at home she’s a great mom that inspires her daughter and takes care of a new baby boy.
What do you believe are the main challenges to be a successful basketball player and to be good at the position you play?
The challenges are keeping a clear head because I know how different it is to stay positive when me and my team are in a tough situation. Another challenge is being versatile and able to fit in any position. It’s important to fit well with your teammates because if you and your team are on the same page, then you complement each other well, and that makes all the difference.
What are key attributes/skills you have that help most in your ability to play well at your position?
Being tall has always helped me play well as a post. When other girls started catching up with my height, I had to rely more on my post moves. When I can’t get to the basket, I rely on my shooting, which has improved. I take pride in being able to handle the ball better than some players that play my position. Another attribute that helps is my decision-making. Being able to read situations in a game is a great attribute because it creates so many opportunities.
What other sports have you played?
I played on a club soccer team for a couple of years. I joined track and field at the end of my eighth-grade year. I competed in discus, shot put and a few running events. I played on a club softball team. I had never played volleyball before I tried out for the middle school team. I made the team and played from seventh to ninth grade. I joined cross country my sophomore year. Unfortunately, I had a bad sprained ankle when it started the next summer, so I decided not to push it and focus on basketball. I joined the high school golf team my senior year. I loved it and now that the season is over, I miss it.
When you’re not playing basketball, what are some things you do away from the court and classroom just to have fun and relax?
I sometimes go out with my friends and just drive around town. I’ve started hanging out with my boyfriend outside of school more. Most days I just like to stay home with my sister, Natalie, and just talk to her or watch a movie in the living room with her. I feel like I have the most fun when I’m with my sister because we understand each other on so many levels.
So far, what has been your favorite memory playing high school basketball?
My favorite memory is when we made it into the state tournament last season. The whole trip was the memory. I loved the long drive to the hotel in Charleston and the drive back. I loved the one game we got to play, even though we lost. I loved having one last, fun memory with our coaches: Coach Moore and Coach Rippy. (Coach Moore is retired and Coach Rippy is coaching golf at Har-Ber now.) I loved getting to bond with my seniors a little more before they left. Overall, it was a special time.
How has the Siloam Springs community and fan base helped you in your high school playing career and what does that mean to you?
Siloam Springs has been very good to me. I’ve met so many amazing people that have helped me pursue my goals. It’s felt good to have so much support from so many people. Even before I started my high school career, the Siloam Springs community helped me in my journey to become the kind of basketball player that is an inspiration and role model to others.