Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another athlete gone in the Queen City

Charlotte, the largest city between Washington D.C. and Atlanta, is known for two things: banking and sports.

The "Queen City" is home to the NFL's Carolina Panthers and the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, and frequently hosts ACC Bastketball games. It's also the heart of NASCAR, the sight where the sport's Hall Of Fame will be housed.

By all accounts, it's one of the best places in the nation to live. thought enough of it to name the city the "Best Place to Live In America," in 2008.

Unfortunately, it's also one of the most dangerous. Morgan Quinto Press named the city the 12th "Most Dangerous Metro Area," in 2006.

The story is the same for professional athletes in the Queen City. Many athletes, including former Charlotte Hornets guards Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry, have fallen in love with the city and continued to live there after their playing days where over.

For others, though, the city has not been so kind.

In fact, it's arguably been the most tragically hazardous city for professional athletes off the field in the past decade.

On Nov. 16, Cherica Adams, pregnant girlfriend of then-Panther's wide out Rae Carruth was gunned down in a drive by shooting and died just days after giving birth to Carruth's child. Carruth was later found guilty of plotting her death and is currently serving time in prison for the crime.

Just a few months later, Charlotte Hornet guard Bobby Phills was killed in a car accident while racing with teammate David Wesley.

In July 2000, former Carolina Panther running back Fred Lane was shot to death during an apparent argument with his wife, Diedra.

And now, Cincinati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry's name is added to the list of pro careers, and more importantly, lives lost in Charlotte. One day after falling off of the back of a pickup truck, during a dispute with his fiancee, Henry was pronounced dead. Henry's fiancee, Loleini Tonga is from Charlotte. The couple, who had three children together, where planning their wedding prior to Henry's fall.

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