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Farewell to father of British basketball who discovered Luol Deng


Brixton Topcats coach Jimmy Rogers dies leaving an All-Star legacy and thousands of winners in the game of life

Meeting him, that voice is what you’re going to notice straight away,” says “Marvellous” Marvin Addy, a British basketball player, now coach. He’s talking about Jimmy Rogers, a legend of the sport in this country, sometimes known as “The Bishop of Brixton”. Addy goes on: “It sounds like God talking. Deep, very deep, as soon as he speaks everyone in the whole sports hall will hear it. He can’t whisper … couldn’t whisper to save his life.”

Addy drifts between past and present, perhaps without even realising it. On Monday it was announced that the 78-year-old Rogers, the long-time coach of the Brixton Topcats basketball team, had died, six months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, and Addy still seems in disbelief. Alton Byrd, another former player brought through by Rogers, also noted his famous boom. “Never has a man meant so much to an area, to a club, and to a generation of young men and women,” Byrd wrote on Twitter. “His voice, both literally and physically, was a clarion call to all young men and women who wanted to participate and learn about discipline and hustle.”

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