(WTNH)–He was headed off to shootaround before the game like always. It was a day that would forever change Trey Phills’ life.
“My mom was at home about to go on a run, or workout with one of her friends. She ended up getting a call a few hour later about the accident that he’d been in, and she got to the road where the accident happened as soon as possible.”
Bobby Phills died on January 12, 2000. He was 30 years old.
Bobby Ray III, better known as Trey, was only three and doesn’t remember much about the tragedy, or even his dad.
“I would’ve just loved to be able to experience him and his mannerisms in person. Anything other than through videos I’ve seen,” he said.
And Trey’s seen plenty of videos.
“I saw highlights of him in college, and I guess that was a few years back when I was thinking about playing college basketball. That’s what meant the most to me, seeing he was one of the three-point leaders from te SWAC.”
There something else too that filled Trey with pride.
“People called him the Jordan stopper. I heard that a few times it was just really cool knowing that nickname was associated with him. I have the same last name, same name, so it was just something I could hold onto and make my own.
Trey’s worked hard to uphold his dad’s legacy. They were big shoes to fill, as his dad played in the NBA for nine years.
However, Bobby’s biggest imprint was on the community. Trey’s following that too.
“It means a lot to me to be a humble servant, that’s one thing I prize a lot and I think is very respectable in a person is someone who is blessed with a lot, whther its position or money or whatever that may be, somebody who goes back and treats everybody as if they were their own.
Trey volunteers in Charlotte, just like his father did. He says he wants to do the same up here too.
He says sometimes he feels jealous of those that got to know his father, since he never did. But through his mother and his faith, he feels close to Bobby.
“Hearing those stories about him and people reaching out to our family about things that he might have said or did or whatever he meant to them was a nice reminder of what he was.
I was experienceing it second-hand so even though it’s not the same it still resonates in my heart a little bit.”