During his freshman season, Nick Roberts had a lacrosse coach sit him down and discuss his plans with a sport he was quickly growing to love.
Roberts said the conversation opened his eyes that he may have a long-term future ahead of him with lacrosse. He just didn't envision it would be quite so illustrious.
After a high school career filled with honors, Roberts is preparing for his biggest yet -- a trip to Orlando to play in the 2011 Champion All-American Showcase, part of the ESPN RISE Games.
Roberts is one of 90 players from the US and Canada who will be divided among four teams for a round robin of games Wednesday and Thursday. He was the only player from South Carolina selected by US Lacrosse.
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"This ranks high up there for me because I actually get to play in a game that goes along with being named an ESPN All-American," said Roberts, who graduated from Hilton Head High in the spring. "I definitely feel like I'm representing the state."
He could do so on national television. The top two teams from round-robin play will meet for a championship game Friday, which will be aired on ESPNU a day later at 7 p.m. All games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., outside of Orlando.
Each team has 22 or 23 players. Roberts was selected in a coaches' draft to play for Team Freedom.
Most of his teammates, he expects, will be future NCAA Division I players. Roberts will be attending Mars Hill (N.C.) College -- one of the nation's best Division II programs -- on a lacrosse scholarship.
"It's going to be a learning experience," Roberts said. "I'm just really excited to see the level of lacrosse for kids going to play (Division) I lacrosse. Everyone is going to be on another level -- lots of talent, speed, good stick skills."
Roberts said he is eager to see how well he blends in with a faster-paced game, though he has experience playing for other high-level programs.
As a senior, Roberts scored 52 goals and dished out 22 assists in 12 games with the Seahawks, averaging 6.2 points per game. He is a three-time selection for The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette Player of the Year.
"The game is constantly progressing, and I still feel like I'm progressing as a player," Roberts said. "I can always learn new stuff. There's always something different I can go out and try to do as a player to get better. I'm going to use this to my benefit, but I also want to go out there and have fun with it."
2011 Champion All-American Showcase
When: Wednesday through Friday
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Kissimmee , Fla.)
TV: Championship game will air at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU
Note: Recent HHH graduate Nick Roberts will play for Team Freedom