North Carolina junior wing Nolan Hodge finished last basketball season with the goal of earning his first D-I basketball offer following AAU action this summer.
That goal was hampered because of the lack of AAU action due to COVID-19. Now, Hodge has picked up that first offer–although it came a little later than planned–from Keith Dambrot and the Duquesne Dukes.
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Hodge, who attends Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, got the call he was waiting for last night from Dukes assistant coach Rick McFadden.
”It was a pretty late phone call, maybe 8:30ish,” Hodge told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I talked to Coach McFadden and he said that he wanted to give me the opportunity to play at Duquesne. He also said that I’d have another call with all the coaches later this week. He said that the while coaching staff was impressed with me. They’ve actually been talking with my Coach Richardson, my AAU coach, for awhile now.”
Hodge is working to learn more about the Dukes program but one thing he knows and won’t forget is that they were the first team to offer him a scholarship. This was a big moment for Hodge and his family, especially with them having some ties to the Pittsburgh area.
”This really meant a lot to me,” said Hodge. “All the hard work I’ve put in over the years is now paying off. I’m a very impatient person so it finally felt good to get that first offer out of the way. It was very hard to stay patient but it was my mom who said it would happen when it’s meant to happen. That’s really what kept me focused.”
”I obviously told me family first and a couple of friends. You really can’t describe the feeling. It’s something that you really can’t describe to anything. Also, I actually have family on my moms side of the family from Pittsburgh. They know all about Duquesne and my mom is really excited because her brother lives up there (Saltsburg).”
Hodge is a versatile player and has played multiple positions for his high school team. He admits that his offensive game is more developed at this point but will work the next two years to improve on that.
Check out my Sophomore Season Highlights – https://t.co/r4yc1SZJUp
— Nolan Hodge (@nolanhodge_7) March 14, 2020
“For my high school team, I played point guard (6’6”, 170) but in AAU, I play mostly any position. I think my versatility and length standout to colleges,” said Hodge. “I shot 39% from 3-point range this season out of over 100 attempts. I’m a player that tries to always make the right decision. Even if that’s not taking a shot. If I’m having a bad day shooting, I try to get to my teammates involved more and make sure I’m playing well defensively.”