DURHAM, N.C. — 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.