“I know what I’m capable of”: Tajen Ross, a team player


Desmond Alexander

Junior Tajen Ross transferred to Simpson from Mount Marty in Yankton, S.D.

by Desmond Alexander, Staff Reporter

Collegiate athletes entering the transfer portal have one of the hardest decisions to make. Taking a gamble to find the place they will spend the rest of their college years is a stressful procedure. While there are many athletes that make the life-changing decision to transfer to a new school, others are less fortunate, finding nowhere to go while receiving the same or slighter treatment. 

Tajen Ross – a junior graphic design major from Adel, Iowa –  transferred to Simpson College from Mount Marty University, an NAIA school in Yankton, S.D. He said he is a confident guard who felt he needed to play for a team that could utilize his talent. 

“I felt like I wasn’t getting the opportunity I deserved on the court,” Ross said. “I couldn’t settle because I know what I’m capable of.” 

Showing immediately that he would have an impact on Simpson basketball, he was able to gain respect from the other players. 

Ross and other transfer athletes share a story: while struggling with other hardships in college, athletes contemplate if they are in the right place as a contributor to the team. Although men’s basketball is not off to the best start with a record of 5-16, Ross referred to the team’s success in the past when asked why he decided Simpson was the best option. 

“I heard a lot about Coach Bjorkgren and his history of winning, which I wanted to be a part of,” Ross said. “Being closer to home and having my family able to attend every game is another big reason.” 

Making a connection with his teammates was another reason he found a home at Simpson. Known for their approving attitude, men’s basketball made sure to show great appreciation towards Ross while he went through the recruiting process. 

“I love our guys. They were very welcoming from the jump,” Ross said. “They stuck with me through difficult times and for that, I wouldn’t trade them for any other squad.” 

An illustration of the energy to look for when going through the transfer process, he added what other athletes looking to transfer should consider. From beginning at a junior college to modeling to Mount Marty the route to Simpson for Ross presented some curves. 

“I would tell transferring athletes to remain themselves, the only way you’ll ever be truly happy is if you focus on being a better person than you were yesterday,” Ross said.