Some sad news from the world of sports. Fellow Demon Deacon and former NBA player Rodney Rogers was injured in an ATV accident last week, and is paralyzed from the shoulders down. This is obviously a horrible story and my heart goes out to Rogers and his family. What jumped out at me when I read the news story about the accident was this passage:
A Durham native who starred in high school football and basketball, Rogers 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 six months ago, according to the report.
He was also volunteering as a girls’ basketball coach at a Durham middle school and had set up a computer lab at a city public housing complex, according to the report.
His agent and lawyer, James “Butch” Williams, described Rogers as “an outdoorsman, plain and simple,” according to the report. “He hunts, motorcycles, rides horses. He loves big trucks,” Williams said.
Rogers, who was financially set, took the job with the Durham DPW because he liked working with heavy trucks, Williams said, according to the report.
“Rodney isn’t the type to sit around twiddling his thumbs. There aren’t any jobs he considers too small for him,” Williams said, according to the News and Observer. “He started his own trucking company and was usually the lead driver. He’d be out there driving to the quarry at 3:30 in the morning.”
Michael Balzarano, who oversaw Rogers at the Durham DPW, said Rogers was not working for the city as a lark until he got bored. “I didn’t even know he had lots of money. He is very friendly, very concerned, very conscientious,” Balzarano said, according to the report. “We chose him because of his ethics and his attitude. He was highly motivated. He was promoted to supervisor six months ago.”
Yes. You read that correctly. A guy who played 12 seasons in the NBA and was financially secure was working at the Durham Public Works department for kicks.
I was lucky enough to see him play in person when I was at Wake. The image of him unleashing one of his patented 360 degree, left-handed dunks will forever be burned into my sports memory. I’m not a praying man, but I’ll definitely be thinking good thoughts for Rodney and his family.