Summarized by Eric Bunker
Shot-putter Roberts sets his sights on nationals
BYU Daily Universe 26Jan99
By Drew Packham: NewsNet Sports Writer
Texas naive and BYU student/athlete/actor, Jim Roberts calls himself
"happy-go-lucky". His father calls him "Boog." He's even close to landing
the part to play Jesus in the upcoming Church produced sequel to "Legacy."
While this recently returned Panamanian missionary may be the happiest guy
on campus, the sophomore shot-put thrower is anything but lucky. Instead,
he's one of the hardest-working athletes around.
Jim is looking to be one of the nation's top shot-put contenders. Two weeks
ago at the Snake River Open, he set a personal record of 59-8, which also
serves as an NCAA provisional qualifying distance. Jim feels optimistic
about his chances of making the national meet. He has a goal of going to
the 2004 Olympics.
Athletic competition is nothing new to the Roberts family. Jim's father,
who is in the Texas A & M Hall of Fame for the shot-put. Jim's dad built a
shot and discus ring on his 25-acre farm for his boys. It was there that a
young eight-year-old Jim found his love for throwing a weighted ball.
"I love what I do," Roberts said. "I never get bored of it. One of my
greatest points of the day is when I go out there and throw. When I get to
practice I'm in such a happy mood."
At Shepherd High School in Texas, Roberts became a large success not by
luck, but by what he calls a strong work ethic. "You don't get anything in
this life without working for it," Roberts said.
"Being lazy won't get you anywhere in this world."
Mark Robison, an assistant coach at BYU, said Roberts has the potential to
become a special member of the team. "He has such a huge work ethic,"
Robison said. "He's definitely going to be
amazing. He'll definitely be an all-American -- how many years is yet to be
seen. We're just very fortunate to have him here."
Jim, who in his senior year of high school was ranked No. 1 in the state in
the shot, had several scholarship offers from around the country. The one
he was most interested in was from his father's alma mater, Texas A&M. "I
wanted so badly to go to A&M," he recalled. "Being raised in Texas as an
Aggie fan going to football games, I loved it. So that was my number one
However, Texas A & M only offered him a partial scholarship and a
disappointed Jim ended up at BYU. In hindsight, he's glad it worked out the
way it did. "That was a hard decision for me," he said. "My dad didn't
like that either because he wanted me to carry on the tradition (at A&M).
But the more I think about it, BYU is the place for me. I love it here.
It's a lot of fun."
In high school, Jim was not only active in track, basketball and football,
but also in acting. While claiming not to be directly involved with drama,
he was in several plays and roadshows. Currently, he's had four callbacks
for the difficult role of Jesus in the new "Legacy".
Jim does credit his mission to Panama for a lot of his personal growth. "I
learned a lot about service," he said. "Everything you do is directed
toward serving the people, so you really gain a love for them. I just love
being with people and helping them any way I can."