The new president of basketball operations for the Orlando Magic recently paid $2.8 million for a house in Winter Park that once belonged to the family of famed Florida folksinger Gamble Rogers.
Jeff Weltman, who was hired to lead operations for the NBA team in May, closed on the home in the Temple Grove neighborhood last Wednesday, with the deed recorded Monday in Orange County.
Set on Temple Grove Street near Lake Osceola, Weltman and his wife Alexis acquired a 1.17-acre lot with the two-story home built in 1948, which boasts 7,268 square feet, five bedrooms and 6.5 baths.
Key features of the home include 10 rooms with wood floors, tennis courts, a pool, three-car garage and a golf chipping green.
The sellers were Ryan and Julie Burrow, a married couple. Ryan Burrow is head of business development, client services and finance for Trilogy Global Advisors, a boutique global investment firm that handles large pools of assets for institutional and individual investors.
The Burrows previously paid $450,000 for the property in April 1998 from John H. Rivers, as trustee of the Evelyn S. Rogers Testamentary Trust, for the benefit of Elizabeth Lyn Rogers Lacy. Lyn Rogers Lacy is the daughter of Gamble Rogers.
"I know that the whole Temple Grove area was owned by the Rogers family," said John Pinel of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, who listed the property and also hails from Winter Park. "I believe this was the original home that was Gamble's.
"That house wasn't that large when (the Burrows) bought it," Pinel continued. "They did a huge renovation. When they moved (the house) it allowed them to add on and do a better configuration for the property."
Weltman, whose father, Harry Weltman, was a general manager of the ABA's St. Louis Spirits and the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, grew up playing rough-and-tumble games on asphalt courts in the Bronx and Harlem, according to a recent profile in the Orlando Sentinel. He earned two basketball letters at Oberlin College in Ohio, though as a part-time player.
He started his NBA career as a video coordinator with the Los Angeles Clippers, then worked his way up the ladder. Weltman later held positions with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.
Weltman spent the last four seasons as a Raptors executive. He will now face the challenge of turning around a Magic team that hasn't made the playoffs in five seasons.
Gamble Rogers was the son of famed architect James Gamble Rogers II, who designed Florida's Greek revival Supreme Court building in Tallahassee.
Gamble Rogers had a 30-year career as one of the South's most popular folk musicians and storytellers. Starting his career with the Serendipity Singers, he headlined hundreds of concerts and folk festivals throughout the United States and Canada.
Rogers popularized Florida's folk traditions in music, storytelling, writing and philosophical humor. Widely regarded as a guitar virtuoso, he played the finger-picking style of legendary country music artist Merle Travis.
Rogers died in October 1991 while trying to save a stranded swimmer at Flagler Beach. He is a member of the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.