March 4, 2008
CARY, N.C. - Washington State University redshirt junior Taylor Rochestie has been named one of 14 finalists for the eighth annual V Foundation Comeback Award, the foundation announced Tuesday.
The annual award is open to men and women collegiate basketball student-athletes in all divisions. It is awarded to an individual or a team who has accomplished a personal triumph in the face of true adversity, be it in health, life or moral dilemma. Student-athletes are nominated by their athletics department representative.
The award is presented in memory of Jim Valvano, the late basketball coach and ESPN commentator, whose personal battle with cancer inspired the creation of The V Foundation. In his memorable speech at ESPN"s inaugural ESPY Awards announcing the creation of The V Foundation, Valvano"s "Don't Give Up. . .Don't Ever Give Up!"® motto created a legacy from which the Comeback Award was created.
Rochestie is in his second full season with the Cougars and is currently the starting point guard. He was lightly recruited out of high school and accepted an offer from Tulane University where as a freshman he started 25 games and earned Conference USA All-Freshman honors. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans prior to Rochestie's sophomore season forcing the team to relocate to College Station, Texas. Two weeks before the 2005-06 opener he sustained a season-ending knee injury requiring major surgery.
With the team's relocation and lack of facilities and tools for rehabilitation Rochestie left Tulane and accepted an offer to transfer to Washington State. Earlier this season Rochestie announced that he will give up his scholarship next season and play as a walk on during his senior year to open up another scholarship for an incoming freshman.
This season Rochestie is tied for third on the team with 10.7 points per game. He leads the No. 23/22 ranked Cougars in assists and ranks second in the league with 4.62 dishes per game. He also leads the league and ranks sixth in the nation with a 2.98 assist/turnover ratio.
The14 finalists include: Jermaine Bishop, Northern Arizona University; T.J. Carter, University of North Carolina Wilmington; Kevin Coble, Northwestern University; Mickey Duncan, Berry College; Jamar Fleming, Virginia State University; Alex Franz, St. Mary's College of Maryland; Khaliq Gant, Cornell University; Danielle Hagen, University of Northern Colorado; Jessica Hall, University of Memphis; Nicole Hester, Drexel University; Darnell Jackson, University of Kansas; Taylor Rochestie, Washington State University, Carlos Taylor, Montana State University; Anthony Williams, SUNY Plattsburgh.
The award is presented in conjunction with ESPN and the recipient will be announced during ESPN's basketball Final Four/NIT weekend coverage. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.