Former Rodney Rogers coach speaking out

December 4, 2008 5:33:13 PM PST
Durham native and NBA player Rodney Rogers is recovering after an accident --according to some reports, he faces possible paralysis.Eyewitness News spoke to Rogers' former junior high coach, who says he hopes the best for Rogers.

"I tried to call the number to call his mom to find out, but I've have not been able to get anyone on the phone yet, telephone filled with messages," Coach Eddie Dennis said.

Dennis has been trying for days to find out how roger's doing amid reports an ATV accident last week has left him paralyzed.

"I've just been trying to find out just how serious he's injured and if he's going to be alright," Dennis said.

The old Holton Middle School where Dennis coached Rogers has been closed for years; but Dennis says it was there he will always have the memories of Rogers as a young boy.

Memories like the time someone tried to give the rising star a new pair of sneakers.

"Of course someone was trying to influence him to go to a certain high school to play basketball," Dennis said.

Dennis knew those sneakers would land Rogers in trouble with the state athletic association, so he put his foot down.

"I said Rodney you cannot keep those basketball shoes, I cannot let you keep those basketball shoes if you need a pair of basketball shoes I'll be glad to get you a pair of basketball shoes, but you cannot keep those," Dennis said.

Years later, Dennis says Rogers thanked him for that valuable lesson.

"He said coach, I didn't understand all that then but now I do, I just want to thank you for that time you would not let me keep that pair of basketball shoes I understand exactly what you were doing for my benefit," Dennis said.

And it's Rogers who's been benefitting others since retiring from basketball and moving back to Durham coaching kids and donating computers.

"I just got my fingers crossed and I just hope that he's not seriously injured that's all," Dennis said.


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