What to know about NBA draft first-round pick David Roddy: 'Fire' pancake maker, football star and more

·7 min read

A whole new batch of basketball fans in Tennessee will soon be learning a lot more about David Roddy.

Fans of the Colorado State men's basketball team have seen firsthand the unique and enthralling play of the big man over the last three years.

They've also had a chance to get to know him off the court, whether it's via autograph and photo sessions after games or listening in on the radio show he hosted over the last year.

He was picked in the first round of Thursday's NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Here's a look at Roddy beyond the numbers.

He played what sport in high school?

It became a running bet among CSU fans.

How long into a game would it take for broadcasters to mention Roddy's football background? Usually it was before the first timeout.

David Roddy in the NBA draft: Where scouts, mock drafts have and an option for the Nuggets?

The former superstar quarterback was asked about his football background with every new interview and even had New Mexico football coach Danny Gonzales come up to compliment his game after a win at The Pit.

It became a wearisome line of questioning for Roddy, but make no mistake, he was a legitimate football player. He threw for 1,776 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior and had football scholarship offers from Wyoming and North Dakota State, among others.

He even had a viral highlight of a superb escape and throw in a Minnesota all-star game to cap his football career.

It wasn't just football and basketball, though. Roddy excelled at shot put and discus, winning a discus state title as a senior. He was also pretty good at the whole basketball thing in high school, averaging 30 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and two blocks per game during his senior season.

He was named the 2019 Minnesota Male High School Athlete of the Year. A former 3-star recruit, he picked CSU over a final three of Northwestern and hometown Minnesota.

Family strength

David is one of Darcy Roddy's five boys. He credits a lot of his competitive fire to trying to fit in as the youngest of the group.

"It is definitely a perfect recipe for building a competitor. I used to go to the rec center with my brother, and he was 6 years older, so he was always embarrassed by his little brother on the side," Roddy said. "It just brought out more motivation and more competitiveness to get better to prove to him that I’m deserving to be on the same court as him."

'The pied piper': How David Roddy embraced his role as a star attraction

The family is the ever-present support group at games near and far (his mom followed the Rams to the U.S. Virgin Islands for a tournament last season).

Unique style

There's no box to put Roddy in.

Yes, he's always been a superstar athlete. But he also enjoyed playing saxophone when he picked it up as part of a class requirement. His teammates love his brown sugar and cinnamon pancakes ("those things are fire," longtime roommate and teammate Isaiah Stevens said.)

While he usually carries a look of rage during games, he was also always the very last person to leave an empty arena after games as he took time for pictures and autographs with every person who came to see him.

Likewise, his play on the court is hard to fit in clean lines. He’s just 6-foot-6, but some of CSU’s most efficient lineups were with Roddy playing center and often defending (and defeating) players like 7-foot-1 Orlando Robinson.

He’s looks like a linebacker, but has nimble, quick feet and movements that belie his size. He’s a dynamic scorer in the paint, with a devastating combination of power, quick moves and a fadeaway jumper. Yet he also shot an exceptionally efficient 44% from 3-point range as a junior, an eye-popping show of growth since his freshman year when he was a 19% 3-point shooter.

He averaged 19.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 blocks per game as a senior.

Roddy will be one of the more unique players in the league.

Roddy's key games, performances

Roddy was far from a no-name entering his junior season, but he wasn’t quite a darling among college basketball junkies nationwide.

That changed quickly as he emerged as a superstar early in the 2021-22 season, grabbing attention in paradise.

In three games in the U.S. Virgin Islands at the Paradise Jam, Roddy averaged 31 points and seven rebounds per game. That leads us to a look at some of his most noteworthy performances at CSU.

Attack of the Bluejays: CSU faced Creighton in the second game of the Paradise Jam. While it was just the semifinal, it was the marquee matchup of the tournament between teams who would make the NCAA Tournament later that season.

Creighton had watched Roddy dominate Bradley the game before in the paint and insisted on sagging the defense in and making him beat them from outside. Well, it didn’t work. Roddy hit seven of 10 3-point attempts and banged in 36 points on the way to a blowout win. It was a signature moment to show his growth season-to-season and arguably the best resume win for the Rams. It put Roddy firmly on the map.

Flyover: Air Force is supposed to lead the aerial raids, but it was Roddy with the flyover in this one.

Early in the second half of a mid-January win over Air Force last season Air Force big man Lucas Moerman (6-foot-10) stepped into the lane to contest a charging Roddy. He then thought better of it as Roddy launched over him for a signature dunk. It will lead his career highlight package.

Anger in the Pit: If there’s anything Mountain West teams learned over the past three seasons, it’s to not poke the bear. An angry Roddy is a dangerous Roddy. CSU at New Mexico late in 2022 should have been nondescript.

Then pregame prep went haywire. There was a power outage in a night-before practice and then a controversial late change to shootaround time. CSU felt it was intentional to rattle the Rams. Whether it was or not was immaterial because Roddy took it personally. He responded with 31 points, several monster dunks and several loyal Lobos fans gave him a standing ovation after the game.

San Diego State winner: Another one of CSU's biggest wins in 2022. The Rams blew a huge lead against San Diego State in front of a raucous sold out crowd, only for Roddy to save it with a game-winning runner with 6 seconds left leading to a court storm.

Entering the starting lineup: An early-season loss to rival Colorado in 2019 won’t be a top highlight of his career at CSU, but what it signaled was vitally important. The loss to CU was the 13th game of the season and the last game Roddy wouldn’t start (except for one as a sophomore as punishment for being late to a shootaround).

Roddy helped spark an almost-comeback in that CU game and then entered the starting lineup the next game as the season took off. He scored 18 points per game his first five games as a starter and never looked back.


  • 2021-22 Mountain West Player of the Year (third in program history)

  • 2021-22 Third-Team All-American (Sports Illustrated)

  • 2021 Paradise Jam Most Valuable Player

  • Two-time First-Team All-Mountain West

David Roddy's career numbers

  • Points: 1,406 (ninth in CSU history)

  • Rebounds: 677 (10th in CSU history)

  • Blocks: 77 (12th in CSU history)

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This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: What to know about Memphis Grizzlies first-round NBA pick David Roddy