Ex-Celtic Rogers paralyzed

Rodney Rogers, who played 12 seasons in the NBA and was an important role player on the 2001-02 Celtics team that advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, has been paralyzed in an all-terrain vehicle accident, the News & Observer in North Carolina reported this morning.

Dave Odom, who coached Rogers, the 1993 Atlantic Coast Conference player, at Wake Forest, told the newspaper that the 37-year-old is paralyzed from the shoulders down.

“Say a prayer for Rodney and his family,” Odom said to the newspaper.

Rogers, a rugged 6-foot-7-inch lefthander with a soft touch from the outside, played 27 games for the Celtics in 2001-02 after coming to Boston along with guard Tony Delk in exchange for swingman Joe Johnson. He averaged 10.7 points per game for the Celtics, shooting 41 percent from 3-point territory.

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According to the newspaper, Rogers was riding in the woods in rural Vance County, N.C., last week when he fell off the vehicle, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. He was recently transferred from Duke Hospital to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which specializes in rehabilitation for people with catastrophic injuries.

Rogers, who retired after the 2004-05 season and was reportedly financial set, had returned to his hometown of Durham, N.C., and was working for the city public works department as a heavy machinery operator. 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.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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