Former NBA player and Durham native Rodney Rogers was honored by the city in which he grew up on Monday night. Durham City Council declared Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, Rodney Rogers Day. Rogers wore number 54 from his time as a Hillside High School basketball player through Wake Forest University and all the NBA teams during his career.
The resolution was read by City Council member Eddie Davis. Mayor Bill Bell said Rogers is our hero and “makes us proud.”
Rogers played for the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers. He also scored nine points in eight seconds for the Utah Jazz in a famous 1994 game. He was in the NBA from 1993 to 2005.
After his NBA career, Rogers came back to Durham and worked in the Public Works department. In 2008, Rogers was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a dirt bike accident. He lives in Timberlake in Person County, where he and his wife Faye started the Rodney Rogers Foundation. Rogers has been back to Durham over the years to give back to the community here. He has given out Christmas gifts to children who live in Durham’s largest public housing complex, McDougald Terrace, where he also grew up.
“I’m very surprised at this but it’s a great thing, and Mayor Bell I appreciate this and all our friends and family and especially my wife,” Rogers said at the council meeting. Several of his classmates from Hillside High School Class of 1990 also came to the meeting to support him. Rogers said it was great to receive the appreciation from his hometown.
Rogers played basketball for Hillside and Wake Forest University. He was the 1990 North Carolina high school male basketball player of the year, and the 1990-91 ACC men’s basketball Rookie of the Year. In 1993, he was the ACC Player of the Year. Rogers accomplishments were noted in the city’s resolution.
The city proclaimed Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 as Rodney Rogers Day in Durham because it’s also the start of the NBA 2017-18 season.