Hodges heats up at summer camps|Pack guard working hard on his game

Published 1:07 pm Sunday, August 29, 2010

By By Jurgen Boerema, Contributing Writer
Ridge Hodges is poised to make an impact for the Washington Pam Pack varsity basketball team this season.
The Rocky Mount native has been honing his skills at four basketball camps this summer and is glad for the training.
Hodges went to the Five Star Supersession Invite in Orlando Florida and made the All-Star team. The competition there was very tough and the fact Hodges, without much previous fanfare, made the team is very signficant.
He described the experience as an eye-opener.
“There was a lot of talent out there,” Hodges said. “People came in from all over the world from different locations to play.”
Hodges’ trainer Austin Thomas praised his work ethic.
“He doesn’t just workout with me. He also does his fundamental homework outside of when he is with me. That is important,” Thomas said. “Players, and athletes in general, improve their skills in the offseason, and Ridge is a perfect illustration of this fact. Out of all the young people I have trained, no individual has worked any harder than Ridge.”
Hodges said that at home he works on developing his shooting range. He starts with shooting close to the basket and gradually works out.
The Pam Pack will be facing an uphill battle in the Coastal 3-A Conference this year. They will have to go through strong opponents like South Central and D.H. Conley in route to the playoffs. They will also be facing a coaching transition. Steven Flowers, the Pam Pack junior varsity coach last year will be taking over Joe Lawrence’s position.
Another problem the Pam Pack will be facing is lack of size. But having Hodges at shooting guard should make up for this in part.
Thomas has had Hodges focused mainly on strength training these past few months. Hodges alternates heavy lifting with speed lifting.
Also having Hodges gain some weight will be helpful as well.
“He is active all the time. He is always doing something so having him gain lean muscle is very difficult,” Thomas said.
Hodges explained that his aunt Lynn Hodges has played a big role in his development as a player and person over the years.
“She has helped me stay focused on basketball and school all the time. She has helped me keep those two things as my goal.”
When Hodges is taking a break from eight-hour workouts, he enjoys fishing in Nag Head and Swan Quarter.
He cited former Duke star Jon Scheyer as someone he wants to implement his game after.
“He is 6’5 and can shoot the lights out. I would like to be his size.”
Hodges has two upcoming camps in Greensboro for which he is preparing. Then he has the whole season to showcase his game for college scouts. In the meantime, keep an eye on the website thomastraining.org for some upcoming video clips of Hodges in action.