Poised for a homecoming, James Rojas adds veteran experience


Baswanth Naidu / The Sunflower

Senior James Rojas goes up for a two point basket against Central Arkansas at Charles Koch Arena on Nov. 7.


Senior forward James Rojas has suffered several injuries, while balancing a family and being a student athlete. This has not discouraged him from continuing to grow.

From 2019-2022, Rojas played at the University of Alabama where he made 47 appearances and was part of the team that made the Sweet Sixteen. During his time at Alabama, Rojas suffered an ACL injury to both knees and suffered a wrist injury. 

“I battled a lot of injuries, so that made the road a little rougher, but just battling back to get back on the court and playing my last year, it’s a blessing,” Rojas said.

Rojas said he was frustrated about his injuries at first but decided to look at it with a different perspective.

“I just looked at it as a positivity, just being able to watch the guys play, learn the system from the sideline,” Rojas said.

Rojas played at Hutchinson Community College from 2017-2019 . He earned First Team NJCAA All-America honors as a sophomore. 

“I’ve played multiple systems in college, and I know what it takes to win,” Rojas said.

Rojas also finished his career there at No. 25  on the all-time scoring list (932 points) and eighth in free throw makes (292). 

Rojas chose Wichita State to be closer to his family. 

“Being able to come home to your child is a blessing, [and] just being able to have [my son] here with me,” Rojas said. 

Rojas said that the team has to continue to build with 12 new players on the roster this season.

“Just being in the right position, you have to be able to move fast, and react as a team,” Rojas said. 

Head coach Isaac Brown said that Rojas and grad-transfer Gus Okafor are the team’s main vocal leaders on the court besides senior point guard Craig Porter Jr.

“They are the older guys on the team, and that’s what we expect,” Brown said.  

In the past, the Shockers have won several conference titles and have made trips to the Final Four, Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen. Rojas said that he thinks the Shockers can experience those kinds of memories this season.

“I think we’re gonna be really good,” Rojas said. “They’re a winning school. I came here to win.”