By Taylor Aube
From the Ground Up
Seventeen years ago, the Roulhac family built their home from the ground up in the Kingsford neighborhood of Fayetteville. What attracted them to the land was the large parking lot where their daughters could practice basketball for countless hours and the cul-de-sac. At the time, their youngest daughter was two months old and their oldest daughter was already mastering her dribble.
Towering trees and thick bushes surround the home giving it a sense of privacy while burrowed a few streets away from the All American Expressway. There is a large parking lot and garage with enough space to fit six cars. The spacious backyard is filled with fun outdoor activities. The dwelling looks like a modern castle yet when you walk in, you are surrounded by the comfort of being at home. As much as it is captivating and large, it is welcoming and pleasantly comfortable.
Since its conception, the house has seen some renovations such as a revamp of the kitchen, an update of the bathrooms and additions such as a sunroom, pool and outdoor kitchen. Despite the grandeur of the home, in all its magnificence, what makes this home truly unique is the bright blue basketball court in the backyard.
High school sweethearts Dr. Maurice and Gina Roulhac raised all three of their daughters in this Fayetteville abode so it is a loving home, to say the least. The Roulhacs started their family in Jacksonville, Florida, which is where both parents are from. They later moved to Fayetteville while their children were young. Maurice is a vascular surgeon and is the owner of his local practice. While Maurice is helping patients, Gina manages the office. They are a dynamic duo and their poise and energy is reflected within their daughters Tiffany, Sydney and Courtney.
When remembering how Tiffany’s passion for basketball started, Gina recalled, “The crazy thing is that I was the first one to give her a basketball and the first time she held it - she was dribbling! She was four when this happened. She instantly knew what to do with the basketball.” The daughters all attended Terry Sanford High School and the eldest, Tiffany, graduated in 2006. She then went on to a successful career on the court at Wake Forest and has recently graduated from law school at North Carolina Central. Tiffany's position in the game is point guard and throughout her years in Fayetteville, she has played in multiple different leagues including the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and even all-boy leagues. Tiffany has had an outstanding basketball career and her younger sister Courtney is closely following in her footsteps. Opposite of her sisters’ basketball ambitions, Sydney is studying to be a clinical psychologist and is a sophomore at the University of Baltimore. Courtney is currently a junior at Terry Sanford high school and is a star point guard on the basketball team.
The Roulhacs thought it was important to build a basketball court at their home because they believed it would help advance the skill of their daughters. Maurice explained, “Courtney wore me down about getting a basketball court even though Tiffany grew up playing on the driveway. My daughters talked me into it. The backyard used to be full of pine trees, so someone came and plowed them all down. The court is about four-years-old. I’m glad we did it, it definitely helps their game.”
The Roulhac daughters have been practicing on their exclusive rubberized court, which has many advantages. Initially the court was going to be concrete, then the Roulhacs did the research and found that the flexibility of the rubber mat is less strenuous on the body. “It’s fundamentally concrete with a rubber plastic mat on top. The mat makes it easier on the knees,” explained Gina. The Court was built by Carolina Playground, which is based in Lumberton.
In the spring and summer Tiffany and Courtney do outside training on the court. Tiffany has even done some personal training using the court, sharing her skills with the youth of Fayetteville. Tiffany spends the most time there, whether it’s by herself or with a group of friends. She explained, “During the summers or holiday breaks a lot of friends from high school or college come over and play. It’s a great way to get people together and do what we love to do.” The readily available, personal basketball court is significant to the daughter’s basketball careers because it is often hard to find a place to play. “It’s nice not to have to find a gym that is usually over-booked, and it’s easier to get all your friends to come over and play,” said Tiffany.
Love and Basketball
With Wake Forest being two hours away, after a hard practice or defeating loss Tiffany would drive to Fayetteville just to be in the comfort of her own home and surrounded by her warm-hearted family. “In college it was nice living close to home so I could sleep in my own bed, the comfort of home was wonderdul. Just being home with my parents and sisters helped,” she said. When asked about a sibling rivalry, there was an awkward silence among the daughters. Gina and Maurice laughed and disclosed, “Yes, but Courtney won’t play Tiffany!” Maurice, a once collegiate athlete himself, explained further saying that he has played all of the girls one-on-one and to date no one has ever beat him. He smiled and looking proudly at his daughters said, “It’s been fun watching them mature and grow. Athletics have always been a huge part of that. Before we were a sports family, Gina wanted three boys, it’s funny that we had three wonderful daughters who are all great athletes. We did everything from AAU to high school and we still are anticipating 5 more years!”
Maurice has coached his daughters throughout their careers. He and his wife have been actively involved in their success as athletes and students. One of the most rewarding things that comes with parenting is helping your children pursue and achieve their dreams. Recalling the sacrifices they had to make, Gina and Maurice had to give up a lot of time and a great deal of money. Gina explained, “It’s all worth it. I can’t explain the experience unless you’ve lived it. At first I wasn’t too keen on them being athletes, but between the life lessons and friendships established along the way, it’s truly amazing to reflect on. Summers were geared towards basketball and we worked our way around Christmas vacations and tournaments. Sometimes we would change up our work schedules or even had to close work early.”
Clearly the return has been phenomenal. These three powerful and intelligent young women are superstars in their own way. Both Fayetteville and basketball have helped shape the girls into the confident women they are today. Gina explained, “I think basketball has allowed my daughters to meet a diverse group of people. Fayetteville is an easy place to meet people because people are coming and going all the time. It’s an easy way to become part of the community. My children have had a positive experience in the public school system here in Fayetteville. I’m extremely proud of what they have accomplished.”