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Silver Anniversary Award winner: Tamyra Rogers

The former Oklahoma women’s basketball standout takes lessons learned on the court into medical career

Since graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1990, Dr. Tamyra Rogers has been busy. She served as chief resident of Oklahoma’s Health Science Center, built the first Wellness Center for the Navajo nation and founded the Dr. Rogers Weight Loss Center, where she uses a holistic approach to medicine to combat the societal epidemic of obesity.

Before fighting obesity, though, Rogers fought to keep the Oklahoma women’s basketball program alive.

As a student-athlete, Tamyra Rogers was more than a proficient scorer for the Sooners. She was a vocal leader on and off the court. In Rogers’ five seasons at Oklahoma, spanning 1986-90, the Sooners fell from first in the Big Eight Conference to last. A coaching change led to a decrease in participation, attendance and wins.

“By our senior year, we were just trying to keep the team together,” Rogers said. “It was hard trying to keep everyone’s spirits up and keep practicing, but I believed in our team.”

She also believed in the program despite the chaos she endured. By the conclusion of Rogers’ senior season, Oklahoma announced its plan to drop the women’s basketball program. 

Suddenly the team’s leading scorer needed to assemble a defense. The academic all-American quickly worked to unify her teammates, the student body and the community to fight for the program.

“I remember her really pulling that team together,” said Renee Launey, Rogers’ academic advisor at Oklahoma. “She was the voice and once the community supported it, I think everyone recognized how important it was to support women’s teams like that.”

Eight days after its initial announcement, Oklahoma decided it would continue to sponsor the sport.

Today, Rogers fights a different fight. The former power forward, whose plan was once to play professional basketball, now oversees her own medical practice. Rogers credits Launey for nudging her into the field.

As a frequent Sooner basketball spectator, Launey witnessed Rogers’ tenacious attitude on the court in addition to her acumen in the classroom. When it came time to declare a major, Rogers looked to Launey for guidance. Launey proposed majoring in zoology, followed by medical school. Shortly after that conversation, Rogers picked up the phone to call her mother and the two shared a laugh at the idea of “Dr. Rogers.”  

“I called home and we were all laughing,” Rogers said. “It was really kind of a joke at first, but I gave it a try and kept at it. If I wouldn’t have had that advisor – who just believed in me – I wouldn’t be where I am today.”