One-On-One with Bobby Phills' Family - myfoxcarolinas.com

One-On-One with Bobby Phills' Family

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Kendall Phills remembers it like yesterday....the day she locked eyes on Bobby Phills.

"It was love at first sight. So, in high school, he was like 6'3, 190 pounds, and he was a basketball player so he was so distinguished from all of the other guys. It was always something special about him," says Phills.

The high school sweethearts continued to date in college but it was one special day when Bobby pulled up in a limo.

"He got on one knee the traditional way.  He was like I know we've been through a lot, a lot of ups and downs but you're the woman of my dreams and I can't imagine living life without you," says Phills.

The couple married and soon after they married, their son, Trey, was born. But, the uncertain life of pro-sports wasn't always easy.
Bobby was cut from his first NBA team, the Cleveland Cavs.
But, Charlotte came calling. Hornets owner, George Shinn, flew the couple to the Queen City in his own private jet.

"We fell in love with Charlotte the minute the plane landed. We saw all the greenery and it was like this is such a special place and I loved the colors purple and teal so that had a lot to do with me choosing the team but we loved the city and the organization at the time and so it was a perfect fit," says Kendall Phills.

The decision was easy for both the organization and the Phills.

"He signed with the Hornets.  I was pregnant with my daughter. I had my daughter. I had a little girl and a little boy and Bobby was a starter and doing wonderful things here," says Phills.

Wonderful things that involved giving back to the community the Phills had fallen in love with.

"We knew that we were blessed tremendously and financially and it was just natural for us to give back. We saw my parents give back, he saw his parents give back so making a difference in the lives of others meant a lot to us," says Phills.

But, life changed instantly for the Phills family on the afternoon of January 12th, 2000.

"One day you just get that phone call. It was a phone call that I will never forget," says Kendall Phills.

Phills was good friends with teammate David Wesley. Wesley's fiance called Kendall and told her to go to Tyolva Road.

"I knew something had happened. I immediately called David Wesley and I was like what's going on and he told me Bobby had been in a really bad accident and just come to the Coliseum," says Kendall Phills.

"When I walked to the scene of the accident, I'll never forget seeing Derrick Coleman crying, Anthony Mason crying, David Wesley crying, everyone was crying so I was like 'oh my gosh,'" recalls Phills.

The one person in the crowd she didn't see was her husband, Bobby.

"I see his car crumbled and his 6'5 body pinned in his car and his body was covered at the time and I just remember going crazy. Paul Silas was the coach at the time and Coach Jerry Eves, they tried to hold me back. It was nothing they could do to keep me from getting to that car," says Phills.

Bobby Phills was killed instantly.   Speed was a factor in the crash.

"A part of me died too on Tyvola Road cause that was my high school sweetheart.  He was my best friend. He was the father of my children and you know, the love of my life. So, my life changed instantly when I lost him. I didn't just lose a husband, my kids lost their father, the city of Charlotte lost a great community leader and a role model and just a great guy," says Phills.

A great guy whose memory continues to live in Charlotte's heart.

In part 2, we talk to Kendall about life after Bobby and the Phills' Foundation,.
Plus, his children tell My Fox Carolinas what they think about an effort to get their father's jersey retired in Charlotte.

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