17 Years Later Bobby Phills’ Children Carry on their Father’s Basketball Spirit


NBA TV ‘s Beyond The Paint Remembers the Former Hornets’ standout 17 years after his tragic death

For those who remember, it’s hard to believe that 17 years have gone by since the sudden and tragic passing of Bobby Phills.

Phills, then of the Charlotte Hornets, was in the midst of rising stardom. In 1996, Michael Jordan said simply that Phills was the toughest player who ever guarded him after their battles with Phills’ Cleveland Cavaliers. A little more than a year later Phills inked a multi-million dollar deal with the Hornets to play along side sharpshooters Glen Rice and Dell Curry, and add toughness along with forward Anthony Mason and point guard David Wesley.

After a playoff series win over the Atlanta Hawks in 1998, Phills would again face Jordan’s Bulls losing in five games. The next season, one that saw games cut short over a labor dispute, saw the Hornets struggle before looking to bounce back in 1999. However, just 9 games into the season Phills was killed in a 3-car accident while driving recklessly behind teammate David Wesley.

Beyond the Paint, in conjunction with NCAA.com, will remember late Charlotte Hornets forward Bobby Phills as the 17-year anniversary of his passing approaches.  In the feature, Phills’ widow, Kendall, son, Trey, and daughter, Kerstie, explore how they were able to endure and move forward in the wake of Bobby’s death.

Following in their Father’s basketball footsteps, Trey is currently a sophomore guard starting at Yale University averaging 4.9 points per game in 22 minutes. He scored a career-high 9 points in a win over University of Albany and had 6 points in a loss to #8 Virginia.

Kerstie, a former standout at Charlotte Christian High School, is a freshman guard at Wagner College averaging 6.8 points in 25.9 minutes. Her school bio says she “plans to major in Health Sciences and one day become a Physician’s Assistant.”

NBA TV’s “Beyond the Paint”  Remembers the Late Bobby Phills – tonight at 11 p.m.