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Milwaukee's Rosalind Ross Basketball Standout Killed

Ross helped take Oklahoma to Final Four
Sept. 16, 2010
 
Rosalind Ross, one of the great success stories of City Conference basketball, was fatally shot outside a fast-food restaurant on Milwaukee's northwest side Wednesday night.

According to police, Ross, 30, was shot while in a vehicle in the parking lot of Popeyes Chicken near N. 62nd St. and W. Silver Spring Drive.

Ken Williams, Ross' coach at Milwaukee Tech, confirmed that the victim was the former basketball standout. "Rosalind had a lot of charisma about her and everybody liked her," he said. "She had lots of personality. She was totally a people person. She'll be missed."

A 27-year-old woman was in police custody Thursday in connection with the killing, which police said was related to domestic violence.

Ross rose from the City Conference to the WNBA despite not receiving any Division I scholarship offers coming out of high school and battling persistent knee problems.

She was a standout at Tech, averaging about 16 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior, but it wasn't until the 5-foot-9 point guard reached the collegiate ranks that her game really blossomed.

Ross earned junior college All-American honors twice at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. She signed with Oklahoma from there and was a part of the team's run to the national championship game in 2002.

In the semifinal, she scored a personal-best 26 points, hit four of eight three-pointers and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Sooners' 86-71 win over Duke. She added 17 points in the final, an 82-70 loss to Connecticut.

She did it all on a bad knee that, according to a Journal Sentinel story published from the Final Four that year, needed to be iced several times each day to keep the swelling down.

"I don't know of anyone with a bigger heart than Rosalind," teammate Stacey Dales said in a Journal Sentinel article at the time. "She provides so much for us in any given game. If we're lacking points in any area, she fills that void. If we need a defensive assignment, she fills that void. She gets overshadowed, but you can't neglect Rosalind."

After college, Ross was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the 16th pick of the first round, but her knee problems kept her from playing with the team. She was waived by the team in 2003, according to her biography on the WNBA website.

"She loved the game of basketball," Williams said.

In recent years Ross returned to Tech, where she worked as an assistant coach to Williams for two seasons, coaching the freshman team one year and the junior varsity the next.

Ross then left Tech. Williams said she spent the last couple of years working for a security company.

Jesse Garza of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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Bernell Hooker

Bernell Hooker is the Founder and CEO of Images of Us (IOU) Sports; a non-profit organization that empowers girls and women through education and sports. "Think of yourself as an athlete. I guarantee you it will change the way you walk, the way you work, and the decisions you make about leadership, teamwork, and success." - Mariah Burton Nelson