June 20, 1971 |
Durham, North Carolina
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||Hillside (Durham, North Carolina)|
|College||Wake Forest (1990–1993)|
|NBA draft||1993 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall|
|Selected by the Denver Nuggets|
|1995–1999||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2002–2004||New Jersey Nets|
|2004–2005||New Orleans Hornets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||9,468 (10.9 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,881 (4.5 rpg)|
|Assists||1,722 (2.0 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Rogers was the fourth and youngest child born to Willie Wardsworth and Estella Rogers. He spent most of his childhood growing up in the McDougald Terrace housing project in Durham. His father, who left the family and moved to Texas when Rogers was a toddler, died when Rogers was eight.
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 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, who was once his youth league coach, spending his last two seasons at Hillside High School with the Brooks family.
His stepfather James Spencer, who was the only man Rogers called "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, who attended the Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf in Wilson and 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. After that he worked for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham. Stanley, his other brother, served over 10 years (1981–1991) of a 20-year sentence for armed robbery at Central Prison in Raleigh.
High school career
Rogers attended Hillside High School in Durham. 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, and in his senior year 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.He was named McDonald's All-American and scored 17 points in the game.
From 1990 until 1993, Rogers played college basketball at Wake Forest University, where he won the 1990-1991 season Rookie of the Year honor (over Grant Hill) and was the 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 played two years for Denver, spending his rookie year primarily as a bench player for a team which was the first 8th-ranked team in NBA Playoffs history to beat a first-seeded team, the Seattle SuperSonics. Rogers had one significant game in his rookie year, against the Utah Jazz on February 8, 1994. Near the end of the game, Rogers hit three 3-pointers in a span of nine seconds to bring the Nuggets from a 94-86 deficit to a 95-94 lead. However, Jeff Malone hit a jumper with 12 seconds remaining to give the Jazz the 96-95 win.
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 spent four years with the Clippers.
Rogers signed with the Phoenix Suns in 1999. 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, Rogers came back on the next possession to hit the game-winning shot. The Nets won that series and went on to make the NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs. Rogers saw 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. He was injured for much of the early part of that season, but eventually became a team starter. On February 24, 2005, Rogers 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
Right after being drafted by the Denver Nuggets, in the summer of 1993, Rogers married Tisa White. They had three children together, two girls (Roddreka and Rydeiah) and one son (Rodney Rogers II). Roddreka, who was born December 1, 1993, underwent a 5½-hour emergency neurological operation when she was just two months old. Rodney and Tisa have since divorced.
After Rogers was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1999, the family made Paradise Valley, Arizona their permanent home until 2006. Tisa returned to Durham to take over her father's family real estate business, in which Rogers was an investor. He returned to Durham in 2006 and went to work for the City of Durham as a heavy equipment operator. Rogers was promoted to supervisor in the spring of 2008. Most of his Public Works Department co-workers did not know he had been in the NBA and set for life financially until his dirt bike accident later that year.
Rogers was a volunteer girls' basketball coach at Rogers-Herr Middle School., and he co-founded the Durham Eagles youth football team. He enjoyed hunting, riding motorcycles and ATVs, horseback riding and fishing. He is a NASCAR fan and loves big trucks and construction equipment.
2008 dirt bike accident
On November 28, 2008, Rogers was involved in a dirt bike crash in rural Vance County north of Raleigh. Rogers hit a ditch while riding through a trail and flipped over his vehicle's handlebars. He was first flown to Duke University Medical Center, then on December 3 was moved by air ambulance to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, which specializes in rehabilitating people with spinal cord and/or brain injuries. Rodney Rogers is paralyzed from the shoulders down as a result of the accident, and doctors have given him only a 5% chance of ever walking again.
After the accident
Two years after Rogers' accident he married his fiance, Faye Suggs, on December 4, 2010. Rodney and Faye were engaged on Faye's birthday (April 3, 2008). With the marriage, Faye brings into their now blended family a son, Denvonte Knox, and Rodney brings in two daughters, Roddreka and Rydeiah, and one son, Rodney Rogers II, from a previous marriage. Rodney and Faye live in Timberlake, NC, running the Rodney Rogers Foundation along with the Director of the Foundation, Darlene Jackson. They also run a tractor trailer and dump truck company by the name of Jazzie's Trucking LLC, which Rodney named after Faye. Faye's nickname came from Rodney's close friends in New Orleans, whom he met when he played for the Hornets.
- 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.
- "Rodney Rogers". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Atkinson, Charlie. - "Rogers Gets NCAA Academic OK". - Greensboro News & Record. - May 24, 1990
- Keech, Larry. - "Rodney Rogers ' No. 54 is Lifted to WFU Rafters". - Greensboro News & Record. - February 12, 1996
- Dan Johnson (2001-03-18). "Seattle Supersonics - Part 2". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
- Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets Box Score, February 8, 1994. - Basketball-Reference.com.
- NBA.com: Rodney Rogers Bio.
- Krieger, Dave. - "Ailing Infant Gives Rogers Inspiration". - Rocky Mountain News. - February 23, 1994 | - Latimer, Clay. - Rocky Mountain News. - March 2, 1994.
- Saunders, Barry. - "Rodney Rogers is severely injured: Rogers' ex-coach says he is paralyzed". - The News & Observer. - December 04, 2008
- Ketchum, Don. - "PAC-10 Conference Preview". - The Arizona Republic. - August 26, 2001
- Fowler, Scott. News & Observer: For 1st time, Rodney Rogers talks about his ordeal
- Fowler, Scott. News & Observer: Unable to walk, Rodney Rogers regaining his stride.