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Rodney Rogers
Forward
Born June 20, 1971 (1971-06-20) (age 38)
Durham, North Carolina
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 260 lb (118 kg)
League NBA
College Wake Forest
Draft 9th overall, 1993
Denver Nuggets
Pro career 1993–2005
Former teams Denver Nuggets (1993-1995)
Los Angeles Clippers (1995-1999)
Phoenix Suns (1999-2002)
Boston Celtics (2002)
New Jersey Nets (2002-2004)
New Orleans Hornets (2004-2005)
Philadelphia 76ers (2005)
Awards 2000 NBA Sixth Man of the Year
Profile Info Page

Rodney Ray Rogers (born June 20, 1971, in Durham, North Carolina) is a retired American basketball player who last played power forward for the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.

Contents

Early life

Rogers was the fourth and youngest child born to Willie Wadsworth and Estella Rogers in Durham, North Carolina. His father left the family and moved to Texas when Rogers was a toddler, and then died when he was 8. He spent most of his childhood growing up in the McDougald Terrace Housing Project in Durham.[1]

Estella Rogers sustained severe head injuries and required two operations when she was nearly killed in an automobile wreck in 1988. She was in a coma for more than two weeks and then remained hospitalized for three more months. Even after she returned home she still had memory loss and needed extra care. While his mother recovered, Rogers moved in with Nathaniel Brooks, a man who was once his youth league coach, spending his last two seasons at Hillside High School with the Brooks family.[1]

His stepfather, James Spencer, was the only man Rogers could call "Dad", died of lung cancer in February 1990. Renita, the oldest of the Rogers children, became a nurse at N.C. Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. His oldest brother Stacy, attended the Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf in Wilson, then the N.C. School for the Deaf in Morganton, won a gold medal in basketball at the 1981 XIV Deaflympics (aka "World Games for the Deaf" and "World Deaf Olympics") in Cologne, Germany, and then went to work for the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Durham. Stanley, his other brother, served over 10 years (1981-1991) of a 20-year sentence in Raleigh's Central Prison for armed robbery.[1]

High school career

Rogers attended Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina. As an athlete, he was known as "the Durham Bull." He was a two-time Greensboro News & Record All-State selection and was named the 1990 North Carolina state player of the year. As a junior he averaged 22.5 points and 9.7 rebounds. As a senior he averaged 28.3 points and 12.3 rebounds on a team that finished 27-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state 4-A playoffs.[2]

College career

Rogers played college basketball at Wake Forest University from 1990 until 1993, where he won the 1990-1991 season Rookie of the Year honor (over Grant Hill) and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1993, averaging 21.2 points and 7.4 rebounds. His final college statistics were 19.3 points and 7.9 rebounds and he was the number nine draft pick in the 1993 NBA Draft for the Denver Nuggets.

Rogers's college jersey, # 54, was retired in February 1996 by the Demon Deacons.[3]

Professional career

Rogers played two years for Denver, spending his rookie year primarily as a bench player for a team which was the first 8th ranked team to beat a first-seeded team in NBA Playoffs history,[4] the Seattle SuperSonics. Rogers had one significant game in his rookie year, on February 8, 1994, against the Utah Jazz.[5] Near the end of the game, Rogers hit three three-pointers in a span of nine seconds to bring the Nuggets from a 94-86 deficit to a 95-94 lead. However, Utah's Jeff Malone hit a jumper with 12 seconds remaining to give the Jazz the win.[6]

Rogers became a starter his second season, in large part due to frequent injuries suffered by LaPhonso Ellis. On June 28, 1995, Rogers was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers with draft rights to guard Brent Barry, for the draft rights to forward Antonio McDyess and guard Randy Woods. He would spend four years with the Clippers.

In 1999, Rogers signed with the Phoenix Suns. He averaged 13.8 points per game coming off the bench and won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2000. The Suns entered the playoffs that year, but lost to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. Rogers remained with the Suns until February 2002, when he was traded to the Boston Celtics, for Joe Johnson.

Rogers signed with the New Jersey Nets, as a free agent on August 14, 2002, to fill a gap at power forward and give the team much needed firepower off the bench. During his first year with the Nets, he averaged 7 points per game as a bench player. The high point of his season was during a playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks, on April 24, 2003, after missing two free throws he came back on the next possession to hit the game winning shot. The Nets would win the series and go on to make the NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs. Rogers would see more playing time the next year, mainly due to some frontcourt injuries, but the quality of his play had declined.

He signed with the New Orleans Hornets on August 3, 2004 but was injured for much of the early part of that season, but eventually became a starter for the team. On February 24, 2005, he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, along with injured forward Jamal Mashburn, for also-injured forward Glenn Robinson. He was primarily used as a backup forward for the '76ers.

Personal life and post NBA career

Rogers is the cousin of New England Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.[7]

Right after being drafted by the Denver Nuggets, in the summer of 1993, he married Tisa White. They had three children together, two girls Roddreka and Rydeiah, and one son Rodney Rogers II. Roddreka, born December 1, 1993, underwent a 5 1/2-hour emergency neurological operation when she was two months old.[8] Rodney and Tisa have since divorced.

After Rogers was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1999, the Rogers family made Paradise Valley, Arizona their permanent home until 2006. Tisa returned to Durham to take over her father's family real estate business, of which Rodney was an investor. He returned to Durham in 2006 where he went to work for the City of Durham as a heavy equipment operator and was promoted to supervisor in the spring of 2008. Most of his fellow co-workers at Durham's Public Works Department did not even know he was in the NBA and set for life financially until his 2008 dirt bike accident.[9]

He has been a volunteer girls' basketball coach at Rogers-Herr Middle School.[9] and he co-founded the Durham Eagles youth football team.[9] He enjoys hunting, riding motorcycles and ATVs, riding horses, fishing, NASCAR, and loves big trucks and construction equipment. He had his own trucking company hauling rock, sand & gravel.[9]

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2008 dirt bike accident

On November 28, 2008, Rogers was involved in a dirt bike crash in rural Vance County, North Carolina north of Raleigh. Rogers hit a ditch while riding through a trail and flipped over his vehicle's handlebars.[9][10] He was flown to the Duke University Medical Center, then moved by air ambulance to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, December 3. Shepherd Center specializes in rehabilitating people with spinal cord and/or brain injuries.[9] Rodney Rogers is paralyzed from the shoulders down as a result of the accident. The doctors gave him a 5% chance to walk again.[9][11]

References

  1. ^ a b c Atkinson, Charlie. - "Battling the Odds: Life Hasn't Dealt Kindly with Hillside's Rogers". - Greensboro News & Record. - February 23, 1990. | - McCann, Gary. - "Rogers Making Most of Chance". - Greensboro News & Record. - May 26, 1991. | - Chandler, Charles. - "Deacons' Rogers Keeps Family Close During Tough Times". - Charlotte Observer. - March 12, 1992. | - McCann, Gary. - "Kid From the 'Hood Has Dreams". - Greensboro News & Record. - November 22, 1992. | - "Rogers leaving demons in his past". - The Denver Post. - July 1, 1993.
  2. ^ Atkinson, Charlie. - "Rogers Gets NCAA Academic OK". - Greensboro News & Record. - May 24, 1990
  3. ^ Keech, Larry. - "Rodney Rogers ' No. 54 is Lifted to WFU Rafters". - Greensboro News & Record. - February 12, 1996
  4. ^ Dan Johnson (2001-03-18). "Seattle Supersonics - Part 2". HistoryLink.org. http://216.254.10.116/essays/output.cfm?file_id=3112. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  5. ^ Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets Box Score, February 8, 1994. - Basketball-Reference.com.
  6. ^ NBA.com: Rodney Rogers Bio.
  7. ^ Ketchum, Don. - "PAC-10 Conference Preview". - The Arizona Republic. - August 26, 2001
  8. ^ Krieger, Dave. - "Ailing Infant Gives Rogers Inspiration". - Rocky Mountain News. - February 23, 1994 | - Latimer, Clay. - Rocky Mountain News. - March 2, 1994.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Saunders, Barry. - "Rodney Rogers is severely injured: Rogers' ex-coach says he is paralyzed". - The News & Observer. - December 04, 2008
  10. ^ Fowler, Scott. News & Observer: For 1st time, Rodney Rogers talks about his ordeal
  11. ^ Fowler, Scott. News & Observer: Unable to walk, Rodney Rogers regaining his stride.

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Darrell Armstrong
NBA Sixth Man of the Year
2000
Succeeded by
Aaron McKie

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