18 Under 18: Daymar Rosser

One of three members of first all-African-American team to win national polo title

Updated: February 28, 2012, 8:43 PM ET
By Chris Parish | ESPNHS Magazine

ESPNHS honors 18 male teen athletes who are doing remarkable things on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Click here to read about them.

Daymar Rosser was scared of horses at first. He's come a long way since then.

The 17-year-old Valley Forge Military Academy (Wayne, Pa.) sophomore grew up in a rough West Philadelphia neighborhood, but he was introduced to the Work to Ride program, a group that introduces inner-city kids to the sport of polo.

It wasn't an easy transition.

"I never knew about polo," he said. "I didn't how to swing the mallet. I didn't know what it was. When I first started, I was scared. I didn't know what I was doing. And I was scared of the horses."

But thanks to the tutelage of Work to Ride founder Lezlie Hiner, Rosser joined the program with his older brother Kareem as well as their friend Brandon Rease, a junior at the Academy at Palumbo (Philadelphia, Pa.). It was a slow process.

"You have to learn how to ride first," Rosser says. "Then you learn how to swing a mallet. Then you learn how to control the horse and swing the mallet. I was small at first so it was hard for me to swing."

After years of training, Rosser helped his Work to Ride team win a national championship last spring -- the first all-African-American team to win the USPA National Interscholastic Championship.

Rosser still competes with the Work to Ride team. After high school, he's hoping to attend college and has listed UConn and Virginia as possible destinations. He's also considered playing polo professionally.