Rodney Rogers (’94), One of Wake’s Finest

It’s no secret that ACC basketball is a major part of life at Wake Forest and across the Southeast.  We have decades of history of amazing players – and the names of some of the more recent players are ones you might likely know:  Muggsy Bogues, Randolph Childress, Josh Howard, Chris Paul.  Oh, and that quiet guy who keeps doing good work in the postseason: Tim Duncan.

The golden age of the modern Wake Forest program could be characterized as the early to mid 90s, when we had a string of incredible talents all one after the other.  One of the leaders of that pack was Rodney Rogers.  A mountain of a man, he was.  He looked like a man among boys – enormous physically, chisled like a Greek God, 1,000 watt smile.  I didn’t know him myself, but he seemed like a nice guy, a happy guy, a generous guy.

And boy, could he dominate on the court.  One of my circle of friends’ most cherised WFU basketball moments was Rodney doing a breakaway 360 slam dunk against Carolina.  I have often said this of Randolph Childress’ “The Shot” – and I will say it about Rodney’s 360 too – it was a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

Rodney went on to a good NBA career, and returned to NC.  He loved trucks and trucking and outdoor pursuits, and he sadly had an accident that has left him paralyzed.  The ACC has published a touching and poignant look at Rodney’s life and the accident that left him paralyzed.  It is a beautifully done film, and worth a watch.

Rodney, we all still love you always.  Go Deacs!

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