Q&A with men’s basketball’s new transfer
Western’s men’s basketball team added another member for the 2016-2017 season with the signing of combination small forward and guard, junior Siaan Rojas on May 26, 2016. Rojas, a transfer student from Santa Rosa Junior College, averaged 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game in 58 appearances during his two years at Santa Rosa. Rojas earned Big 8 Conference All-League honors for his play this year.
Viking’s head coach Tony Dominguez thinks Rojas will be a valuable addition to the team.
“Siaan is a very versatile player — he can handle and shoot the ball, is a very good passer and leader. He did a great job of playing well with the team,” Dominguez said. “He’s really mentally tough. He’s able to play both ends of the floor — defense and offense. His biggest attribute is that he is able to blend well with our team personality.”
The Western Front interviewed Rojas over the phone to find out who he is on and off the court.
Q: How was your visit to Western? What stood out about the school that made you decide to commit?
A: It was good, the coach showed me around. The school is pretty big and really nice. A lot of the buildings were new, there’s a new basketball gym being built. I met most of the players, they were really cool. I had a good feeling about the coaches.
Q: What about Western are you most excited about, besides basketball?
A: The location seemed really nice. After two years at junior college I’m excited to be at a bigger four-year school and meet a bunch of new people. Everybody seemed really friendly and pretty diverse. All of that should be fun and a whole new experience.
Q: What do you think you will contribute to the basketball team at Western?
A: I can be a leader. I’m a team player, a guy who can help the chemistry because I get along with everybody. I just want to win, I’ll do anything the coaches and team need to win.
Q: What skills do you feel you particularly excel at in basketball?
A: I feel like I can make teammates better. I’m not a ball hog, I pass the ball a lot and everybody wants to play with a guy who passes. I’m an all-around guy who can dribble, shoot, pass and play defense.
Q: How did you get started playing basketball? Why is the sport important to you?
A: I got started when I was younger, my dad introduced me to the game. He always wanted me to play when I was younger, but I wanted to play soccer or other sports. For some reason he always pushed me to play basketball, even when I wasn’t that tall – before my growth spurt. I’ve been playing my whole life and it’s become a passion for me. Now I love it and I’ve stuck with it.
Q: Who do you model your game after?
A: A young Manu Ginóbili, I like how he plays. He’s from Argentina and those guys play the game in a different way. They pass a lot and move the ball. They add a different swagger to the game.
Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: A lot of my friends call me Cee Boii. I don’t know how that happened. It’s kind of like Siaan, but spelled with a C. When I was younger it just stuck. Now I don’t even hear Siaan that much.
Q: Who is your hero?
A: My grandpa on my dad’s side is my hero. He’s from Colombia and grew up really poor, not knowing his dad. He didn’t get to finish school but ended up working since sixth grade. He was able to move all his family into a bigger house and moved them out of the area they’re from. Now he’s a really successful businessman. He started from nothing and just worked his way up in the right ways.