This is a picture of Kendall Phills (Bobby Phills’ wife), Kerstie Phills (daughter), cousin and Trey Phills (son) all sporting their father’s jersey’
Since we started our petition to get Bobby Phills’ Jersey back home to Charlotte from New Orleans rafters we have had some good news. Michael Jordan recently said that the Bobcats will do their best to get back some of the Hornets history along with the return of name at the Season Ticket Holder Town Hall Meeting (see our previous post for more notes from hall meeting)!
We had the great privilege of talking with the Phills family to see how they feel about the return of the Hornets and our mission to bring home Bobby’s Jersey!
BBTB- You were the first member of your family to share with us your desire for the return of your father’s Jersey to Charlotte
Can you tell you tell Charlotte Hornets fans old and new, just why you think this is so important?
Daughter– I think the return of my father’s jersey is so important because the Charlotte Hornets fans need to know who my dad was. He was a great man that worked his butt off to make it to the NBA. He proved that dreams really can come true if you work at it. Also, he was one of the few people that could actually lock down Michael Jordan. Although I have no recollections of my dad, it would truly bring joy to my heart seeing his #13 jersey hanging up in that Time Warner Cable Arena!
BBTB- Many from Charlotte and around the NBA recall the iconic image of you as a young boy watching your father’s #13 Jersey raised to the rafters of the Charlotte Coliseum. Can you share your memories of your father and your feelings about the city that remembers him so fondly?
TP- That’s actually one of my favorite pictures of me as a little kid. It was bittersweet having to say “goodbye” to your favorite player and father, but it’s a blessing to see the Charlotte community coming together to remember him. Every now and then people in Charlotte tell me about what a great guy and role model my dad was and that makes me very very proud!
BBTB- How do you feel about the return of the Charlotte Hornets?
TP-I’m probably one of the most excited people in the city! I feel like it’ll literally bring back some buzz around Charlotte. I’m already making plans for the 2014 home opener.
BBTB- Some of our supporters have vocalized their opinion that you should be the one to raise your father’s Jersey into the Time Warner Cable Arena’s rafters. Your thoughts on this?
TP-Raising his jersey into the rafters would be an absolute blessing. If I was asked I would gladly accept! It would definitely hold a memory in me that I would never forget.
BBTB- Thank you for being so kind to answer our questions. Those of us born and raised in Charlotte are all aware of your tireless commitment to the young people of this city. You have never shied away from the hard lessons to be learner from Bobby’s tragic accident.
We all know what an amazing basketball player Bobby was, but some may not know of his personal commitment to academics and his service to the Charlotte community. Can you tell us about the Bobby Phipps Foundation and Bobby’s work and vision for youth academics and sports?
KP- The Bobby Phills scholarship fund was established as a tribute to my late husband to continue his legacy by supporting the values he believed in. Over the past 13 years our foundation has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships and have blessed several organizations that serve the underprivileged youth.
BBTB- Have you had the chance to visit New Orleans and his Jersey?
KP- Yes. We have visited New Orleans and had visited his jersey.
BBTB- What do you see as the benefits of the returning his Jersey to Charlotte and bringing it to Time Warner Cable Arena, for your family, the spirit of the team and the re-kindling of Bobby’s vision in the city of Charlotte?
KP- I see his jersey hanging in the rafters of the Time Warner Cable Arena would be such an honor to remember his legacy as a community leader, role model, and basketball player. This city has not forgotten his contributions to the hornets organization. Bobby’s jersey #13 was the first number to be retired in franchise history. Having his jersey back in the city of Charlotte with the Hornets name coming back will be a constant reminder to everyone what a positive role model he was on and off the court.
BBTB- Do you agree with the Charlotte Bobcats changing their name to the Hornets? Why or Why not?
KP-To have my brother-in-law Stephen Silas as an assistant coach to have his former teammate Mark Price coaching, and to see Bobby’s jersey hanging (pause) I would be elated and honored, also I would have to purchase some season tickets –LOL