Dennis Hodges: Living Up to the Hype
By Michael O'Brien - Sun-Times News Group
Two years ago, Dennis Hodges was one of the biggest names in the class of 2010, mentioned along with Jereme Richmond and Reggie Smith as a likely superstar. Then he disappeared from the scene, attending three high schools before settling at Curie. Hodges started out at Crane, then transferred to Hales and Simeon, then went back to Crane, where he played a few minutes on varsity as a freshman. He enrolled at Curie last November and joined the Curie varsity for the second half of last season, but didn't make much of an impact.
Friday at the Northern Illinois Team Camp at Moody Bible Institute, the 6-5 rising junior played like a man on a mission. "My name hasn't been out there much lately, because I just haven't been playing," Hodges said. "I've got a lot of time to make up for." Hodges early publicity earned him some interest from Wisconsin, Tennessee State and Iowa, but he has his mind set on two schools.
"I want to go to Texas or Tennessee," Hodges said in a rare display of candor from a high school athlete. Hodges acknowledges that he has a long way to go before either one of those schools will offer a scholarship. "I have to put the work in to get to that level," Hodges said. "But I'm really feeling comfortable at Curie and things are starting to feel right." The emergence of Hodges just adds to the star power at Curie. Rising sophs Wayne Blackshear, a 6-5 forward, and point guard Greg Travis return from a team that advanced to the final four in the city championships last season. "There is a lot of talent playing out there with me," Hodges said. "I'm lucky to have those guys playing around me."