Former NBA and college basketball star Rodney Rogers, whose career included 28 games as a 76er, is paralyzed as the result of an all-terrain vehicle accident, his college coach told the
News & Observer
of Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Rogers was one of the NBA's best sixth men and a respected three-point shooter during his 12-year pro career.
Dave Odom, who coached Rogers when he earned All-America honors at Wake Forest and was the 1993 ACC Player of the Year, said his former star is paralyzed from the shoulders down, according to the report.
"Say a prayer for Rodney and his family," Odom said, according to the newspaper.
Rogers, 37, who had a 12-year NBA career and won the sixth man award in 1999-2000, was riding in the woods in rural Vance County, N.C., last week when he fell off the vehicle, the newspaper reported, citing information from the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
He recently was transferred from Duke Hospital to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which specializes in rehabilitation for people with catastrophic injuries.
His final NBA season, 2004-05, was spent with the Sixers. He averaged 6.0 points.
Rogers, a Durham native who starred in high school football and basketball, had returned to his hometown and was working for the city Public Works Department as a heavy-machinery operator. He was promoted to a supervisory position 6 months ago, according to the report.
He also was volunteering as a girls' basketball coach at a Durham middle school and had set up a computer lab at a city public housing complex, the newspaper reported.
Rogers, who was financially set, took the job with the Durham DPW because he liked working with heavy trucks, his agent and lawyer, James "Butch" Williams told the paper.
Rogers entered the NBA as the first-round draft choice of the Denver Nuggets in 1993. Besides the Nuggets and Sixers, he played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets.
In a game last night:
* At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki matched his season high with 39 points and Jason Terry had 19 points off the bench to lead the Mavericks to a 112-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who got 28 points from Amare Stoudemire. *