Local News

Donations from game honor former NBA player injured in ATV wreck

Posted December 18, 2008
Updated December 19, 2008

— Friends of former pro-basketball player Rodney Rogers held a fundraiser Thursday in honor of the athlete.

A percentage of the ticket sales from a basketball game between North Carolina Central University and Winston-Salem State on Thursday night are going to spinal-cord-injury research at the Atlanta hospital Rogers is being treated.

Rogers, who lives in the Triangle, suffered serious injuries when his all-terrain vehicle crashed Nov. 28 in Vance County. He was lparalyzed from the neck down, and some doctors predict he may not walk again.

“There is hope. He is still holding on that there is hope for him,” Rogers’ mother, Estelle Rogers, said.

Estelle Rogers attended the game Thursday. She described what happened to her son as “unbelievable.”

Rogers played basketball for Hillside High School in Durham and Wake Forest University. In 1993, he left Wake Forest in his junior season for the NBA, and the Denver Nuggets selected him ninth in the draft.

Rogers went on to play for the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers, before retiring in 2005. In career games, he averaged 9.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 22.7 minutes a game.

Rogers won the 1999-2000 NBA Sixth Man Award, honoring the league's premier reserve player. That season, he ranked fourth in 3-pointer percentage and 16th in 3-pointers made.

Since he wore the number 54 during his career, 5.4 percent of ticket sales will donated, Rogers’ longtime friend, Delbert Jarmon, said.

Jarmon, who is an alumnus of Hillside High School, said he was “touched” by the event.


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  • Tired of thoughtlessness Dec 19, 2008

    When ignorance and sarcasm go wrong... SMH...

  • North Wake Dad Dec 19, 2008

    When the first article about this came out on WRAL, dozens of GOLOers jumped up and down ranting about how poorly he must have managed his money and about how they would never, but never, contribute to his benefit.

    Taking the time to read one more article (e.g., N&O, ESPN) would have shown them that Mr. Rogers has done quite well with his money. He was working with the city of Durham because he's a down to earth cat who likes to stay busy. Doesn't need to tell people he's rich. And he's rich, trust me.

    And, as others here have said, the benefit was for spinal cord research at the hospital.

  • 68_polara Dec 19, 2008

    How ironic, I grew up un atvs and never suffered a serious injury but now play basketball to keep in shape (so I don't get fat and die). I've sprained an ankle so bad the doctor said it was worse than a break and injured a finger this summer and at this point apparently it's a permanent injury. But at least exercise can keep one alive.

  • unc83 Dec 19, 2008


    What school did you attend? Did you actually read the article? The money is going toward research and not to pay his medical bills. I read a story on espn last week, and he is financially set for life.

  • Just thinking Dec 19, 2008

    Thanks Jonmac - The article said that the money will go to the spinal cord RESEARCH center, not Mr. Rogers.

  • jonmac Dec 19, 2008

    Um, the article says the money went to fund spinal cord research. So it didn't benefit Rodgers. Read much?

  • BuglessDuster Dec 19, 2008

    It's a sad story. I know that kind of health care is expensive, but you'd think he would still have a LOT of money since he was still playing in the NBA only a few years ago.

  • anonemoose Dec 19, 2008

    He made 27 mil and needs a fundraiser. What's wrong with this picture?

    I made 40K a year and if I wrecked an ATV, it wouldn't even make the local paper.