STAB's Desmond Roberts joins UVA as preferred walk-on
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For a kid growing up in Charlottesville playing basketball, St. Anne's-Belfield guard Desmond Roberts got the call of his dreams this week.
"I got a call from Coach [Tony] Bennett last Sunday and he told me he would love to have me and I didn't even need to think about it," Roberts said, "That's a call that I've been thinking about for a long time."
Roberts accepted a preferred walk-on role to play for Virginia men's basketball and Tony Bennett, the team he spent his childhood rooting for. The 6'4" STAB standout will join the Cavaliers in mid-June for summer workouts.
"It's real special growing up around here, being a UVA fan, my mom being a teacher there, just real special to be able to be on the team and contribute," Roberts said.
The Charlottesville native had interest from a few Division I programs and offers from Division II schools, but a lifelong relationship helped keep him home. After moving from Massachusetts when he was younger, Roberts' family became friends with UVA associate head coach Jason Williford and their family, Williford's son Austin, a teammate at STAB of Roberts.
Williford told Roberts he could bring good energy to the team in practice and in games, a sentiment STAB boy's basketball coach Damin Altizer echoed to Bennett when they spoke on the phone.
"Just the energy that he's going to bring on the bench and the embodiment of Coach Bennett's Five Pillars," Altizer said, "When they asked about him, how he is as a player, I said he's everything that you would want."
As a senior, Roberts averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds for STAB, while earning All-Prep League honors and became well-known in the area for a few highlight dunks.
"We would show film of him when he was not in the game because of the energy that he would bring and how he would support his teammates and then on the court he's electric," Altizer said, "He's a viral video waiting to happen."
Roberts grew up watching the Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena and will now be in uniform next time he enters JPJ.
"Just super excited to be able to bring my energy to the stadium," Roberts said.