National Girls and Women in Sports Day – Danielle Roe ’10

We are pleased to feature Danielle Roe ’10 as we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 7. In true Wesleyan Way fashion, she honors a significant mentor in her life, another KWC success story.

We are honored to celebrate you as a great representative of KWC’s female athletes, past and present, and we would love for you to share memories of your experiences at KWC.
As an African American woman, I felt a sense of family and community despite any cultural barriers in the world. It was a tough transition going from a predominantly Black high school to being one of the few Black women on campus at the time. KWC opened doors for all of us to grow together as different ethnic groups. 

I remember having a season-ending knee injury and many on campus were so helpful and gracious to me. It was a challenge moving around campus in a wheelchair and on crutches. I will forever be grateful for that Southern hospitality. 

I could write a book on how I truly walked in boldness and used my voice at KWC, but I will keep it brief. I arrived at KWC as a junior college recruit. I had two years under my belt as an athlete, so I did know a few things: how to ask the right questions (including hard questions) and being willing to learn who you truly are by just saying ‘hello’ to someone and starting a conversation.

Being a female athlete at KWC prepared me for a competitive environment after I graduated that forced me to be a forever student. I learned the art of patience and communication.

Your career path sounds fascinating. Please tell us about it.
I was a basketball coach for over 10 years at all levels from grade school to junior college. Through that journey, many young people and their parents who I had the privilege of serving gave me the name ‘Coach Roe.’

I have worked in the performance sales world since college and about 75% of my income has been commission-based outside of coaching sports. I gravitated toward speaking about success principles, culture and leadership development to businesses, sports teams, schools and universities. This launched a speaking passion that I didn’t know was in me, and I did a speaking engagement of 6,000 attendees at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I spoke about my days at KWC, where I truly grew up as a person.

What have we not asked you that you would like to share?
As we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, I would like to acknowledge a humble woman on the KWC campus, Nicole Nieman, the co-head women’s basketball coach. She is and has been the epitome of what this day truly is about. I met her in 2009 when she was an assistant. That KWC was willing to give Nicole and Caleb [her husband and co-head coach] a chance to become head coaches at KWC speaks volumes. Through her continued support, we have a lifelong friendship. She is an excellent example for female athletes as she meets the challenges of being a mom, wife, coach, recruiter and builder of championship culture. I would just like to publicly thank her for ALWAYS being in my corner, even 14 years after my graduation. I want to shine some light on her because she has paved the way for so many young women who have graduated and gone on to be successful. KWC gave her a shot, and she has delivered on so many levels during her time at the College.

As you celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, please celebrate Nicole and thank her for her contributions to KWC.

Be sure to follow KWC alumni social media channels (@kwcalumni) as we celebrating former student-athlete alumnae throughout NGWSD on Feb. 7.