FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Yvette Roberts is in her fifth season as the head girls basketball coach at Edison High School. On Friday, February 10th, the Tigers play a road game at Justin Garza.
The next day, they will be at the Save Mart Center…for their coach.
“I played basketball because I loved to play, it was for fun,” said Roberts. “All the things that came with it afterwards were a total blessing to me.”
Yvette Roberts is a former standout at Washington Union High School, and at Fresno State. She then played professionally for 12 years overseas.
With the Bulldogs, she scored 1,778 points from 1986-1989. She was the program’s all-time leading scorer for 22 years. She is still the program’s all-time leading rebounder.
“People saying that I’m a basketball player and I’m one of the greatest and I’m like, ‘I don’t know about that.’ I know I went out and I worked hard and I did it because I loved it,” said Roberts. “But never at any point in time did I think I would get all the awards I would have gotten so far.”
The latest is having her jersey retired.
No. 24 will soon hang inside the Save Mart Center, alongside the No. 34 of her Fresno State teammate, Wendy Martell. Fresno State Director of Athletics Terry Tumey is the one who called Yvette Roberts with the news.
“I’m like, you know what, jokes are over. You’re joking, right?” she said. “He said, ‘no, Yvette, that’s why I wanted to be the first one to call you and tell you, hey, we think that you’ve been overlooked, and I think it’s about time we actually celebrate you and what you’ve done for the university and the community.’ I had this pause, because of course I was completely shocked. And, of course, shedded some tears. Give me a minute, let me collect myself.”
Roberts anticipates she will cry again on February 11th.
Having her jersey retired means a lot to her. But she is hoping it will also mean something to the ‘next’ Yvette Roberts.
“As a female, for me as an African-American female, to know that I get my jersey hung up in the rafters,” she said proudly. “To give other little African-American girls the same encouragement to do the exact same thing anywhere else.
“So I’m hoping that’s an inspiration for them.”