Junior guard Roundtree creates signature look with sports goggles


Shawn Roundtree Jr., with his orange sports goggles, poses for a portrait before practice on Feb. 1 at McGuirk Arena. 

On his way home from the gym in the sixth grade, Shawn Roundtree lost his court vision. 

More specifically, he lost his sports goggles. 

“My first pair of goggles were really circular, huge and orange, but I remember those goggles like it was yesterday,” Roundtree said. “I ended up losing those and I was so sad and mad.”

Since losing his first pair, the Central Michigan junior guard went through six different pairs before landing on his current goggles. 

Shawn Roundtree Jr.'s orange goggles sit on the basketball court on Feb. 1 at McGuirk Arena. 

Roundtree’s goggles are a combination of orange and black, along with a clear colored eye lens. The goggles have a black top bar, black temple, orange nose pads and orange temple tips. The end piece, which connects the temple to the lens, has a protective clear shield — allowing for maximum peripheral vision. 

“The ones I have now are my best pair yet,” Roundtree said. “I’ve always been looking for some Kirk Hinrich or Amar’e Stoudemire goggles and I got them, so I’m pretty content.”

Roundtree enjoys the black sweat bar for his forehead and the strap connecting both temple tips in case the glasses fall off during a heated in-game series. 

“It’s just very convenient the bar keeps the sweat out of my eyes,” Roundtree said. “Other guys without goggles don’t get that.” 

Roundtree, Central Michigan’s 6-foot, 185-pound starting point guard, was first prescribed for glasses as a first grader. He started with contacts on the court, but those did not suffice for his quick, gritty style of play. 

“I tried contacts going into sixth grade, but on the court, I needed something to help me with my eyesight because I was just a step slow,” Roundtree said. “For me, contacts were just uncomfortable and were always bothering my eyes. I just didn’t want that irritation on the court.”

Now, Roundtree is known for his goggles. Over time, he has embraced them and ditched the dreadlocks he had as a young kid. 

“It’s definitely my signature look,” Roundtree said. “I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t have the goggles. I’m team goggles all the way. With goggles, I became familiar with them and they became part of me. I embrace my goggles.”

Roundtree started to wear goggles as he got into middle school. He did not know many people who fashioned the goggles, but now, he said a goggles movement has been made. 

“Over the course of 10 years, I’ve seen more kids wearing goggles,” Roundtree said. “When I started, you rarely saw anyone with them. Now, it’s one little kid per team (with goggles).

“Some kids feel like they will be made fun of if they wear goggles, but the truth is you need them and they work just like glasses.”

For the rest of his life, Roundtree will be prescribed to wear goggles, glasses or contacts. Right now, the goggles will remain a part of Roundtree, as much as he is a part of the goggles. 

“I’m going to be wearing glasses and goggles for the rest of my life,” Roundtree said. “Off the court, I wear contacts, but on the court, I can’t. The goggles are who I am.”