There is too much to say about the legend that was Jimmy Rogers, and there are so many shining stars that he put in the constellation, you only need to look around you.
The London Lions are fiercely proud of their relationship to Jimmy, whether it be the Two Time MVP, Justin Robinson, Andrea Boreland the only female Coach in the British Basketball League, or our founder, Vince Macaulay, who’s basketball journey began in 1977 at Paddington Comprehensive school in Liverpool at the hands of the said Rogers.
It is this that led to members of the team visiting the Rough House of Fun and Dunking – Yes! The Brixton Recreation Centre, so aptly named by the then game night DJ, “Fat” Freddie Morrison, to those who know.
It is two years since the sad passing of Jimmy, the Bishop of Brixton, and the team felt it wanted to continue to connect and headed down to the Rec, to assist in some of the coaching sessions with young boys and girls as young as five years old right up to the Under 18’s.
Coach Macaulay was joined by Robinson, Boreland and the rest of our alumni, Ed Lucas, Mathew Bryan-Amaning and Nikhil Lawry, all who trod the Brixton boards. Arriving at the centre, it was like coming home, a warm welcome from Moji Odusanya, the sight of Flo Larkai and England’s point guard extraordinaire, Ronnie Baker, Wayne Henry barking orders, in Jimmy style to the young ones.
The living legacy of Jimmy was there for all to see, hard working players, playing hard continuing to eschew the hopes and dreams of the great man.
“I can’t believe it” said Macaulay, “I first came through these doors 34 years ago, to think of all the wonderful players, yes, NBA stars like Luol Deng, but really the wonderful people, lawyers, bankers, journalists, financiers, so many who have gone on to achieve with Jimmy’s words ringing in their ears, then I see the new generation, man it’s like we’ve always been here”.
The Brixton Topcats continue to see more and more kids enter the doors even with the challenges of a pandemic, great work from the Board, Ruth Smith and Coaches Jabaar, Lewis, David et al, many others to keep Jimmy’s legacy going, how bitter sweet, we all miss Jimmy and yet he lives in us all.
Duncan Hooper, Pic Carol Moir