Indeed, it's rare that there is any support here for the basketball happenings in Jersey.
But it's rare that a very good college career whose pro career has been greatly impacted by the fact that he was shot decides to try out in Jersey.
As reported by the New York Post's Fred Kerber:
"It just really opened my eyes," said Julius Hodge, aiming for a spot on the Nets' summer league team by working out at the team's facility daily with Vandeweghe, now Nets GM. "It was an experience where at the time I was definitely afraid and frustrated that it happened. But as your maturity level expands, it showed me it was a blessing in disguise."
Hodge, 24, eventually was traded from Denver to Milwaukee. He tried Europe and Australia, and last season played in the NBDL at Albuquerque. Now he's hoping for another NBA chance. His shot never was special and his wounds robbed much of his athleticism, but none of his drive. He takes classes in martial arts, yoga and Pilates.
"Keeping not only my game on top but physically and mentally staying in shape. Initially, I lost about four months but then I had to go back for surgery so it took me about a year-and-a-half to get back to full strength. But I'm here now," said Hodge, insisting his shot can improve working with Vandeweghe.
Go Julius, go.
For whatever reason, I really enjoyed Julius Hodge's career at North Carolina State. He was known as a good guy, stayed all four years and played his heart out every night to give those NC State teams a chance to win, and there were certainly a few upsets that wound up happening along the way.
Hodge was always one of those scrappy players who wasn't especially gifted but did whatever he had in order to get by, and I have long admired that about him.
The shooting that took place a couple of years back has put a major damper on his career thus far, and for a guy who plays as hard as he does, that's even more unfair than it originally appears. Here's hoping Hodge finds some individual success and a place to thrive in the Swamp.