By Brian Taylor
This one goes out to all my Raptor fans out there!
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Carlos Rogers would become one of the cornerstones of Toronto’s new NBA team. In his college days at Tennessee State, the tall, lanky center would average somewhere around 23 points and almost 3 blocks per game. At 6’11”, Carlos led his team to the Ohio Valley title twice, both times landing the team in the “Big Dance”.
Coming out of college, Rogers was drafted 11th overall by the Seattle Supersonics, but was shipped to Golden State to shore up a bench that included Victor Alexander, Chris Gatling, and a newly traded Tom Gugliotta. With the glut of veterans on that team, Carlos was expendable, and was shipped to the Raptors for B.J. Armstrong. Most folks remember him for having long arms, being the Raps first ever SF, and a propensity for blocking shots, but also having a bit of an aloof nature about him. I remember him dying his hair bronze, and being good for a wacky quote every now and then.
In 1988, Carlos’ sister, Rene was diagnosed with Kidney failure, a condition that she managed to live with day by day, but still needed a kidney transplant to recover from. Carlos, showing the world that not all athletes are selfish, about stats and money, (see: Terrell Owens) made a decision that put life in perspective for everyone. He decided to retire from basketball, to give his sister a kidney.
Everyone knows about Sean Elliott’s ailment and Alonzo’s health problems, but this was possibly the only time ever a pro athlete was ready to give up a huge, salary, notoriety and a sport they loved to help someone out. This wasn’t donating money to a hospital or children’s fund; this was something that could’ve endangered Carlos as well. He was only one of ten siblings that had the genetic makeup to keep his sister alive, and he was willing to take that shot. Tragically, ‘Los never got his chance to help his sister out, as she passed away in January of 1997.
Stat wise, Carlos never really set the world on fire, his career averages of 7 points/4 rebounds per game don’t really stand out (he did have an eye-popping 7 blocks in a game against Orlando as a Raptor however). When he was healthy, he was productive, but being on the injured list year after year hurt his numbers. After stints with the Blazers and Rockets, Carlos played 22 games in Indiana before calling it quits in 2001.
With T.O. in Dallas having another temper tantrum, I found this Carlos Rogers article to be true, regarding athletes being role models and heroes. So when you get a minute, take a look.