Former Chicago Bulls player Craig Hodges was shunned for his outspoken political acts in 1991, when he went to the White House wearing a dashiki and gave President George H. Bush a letter requesting that he do more for the underprivileged, as Shut Up and Dribble recorded.
With his most recent position being as head coach of the Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois, Hodges, 58, has continued to live and breathe basketball. Hodges resigned in December 2017 for private reasons, according to a statement issued by the institution.
From a personal perspective, it is time for me to adopt a new strategy for how I will affect Rich East, Hodges wrote. “My passion for Rich East has not at all lessened.”
Hodges Assists in Coaching Illinois’ Rich East High School Team
His son Jamaal Hodges has taken over as temporary coach, but according to RRStar, Hodges continues to work with the young players.
He also wrote the book Longshot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter, in which he talks about how his all-star career was impacted by his political activism.
Hodges, a star shooter in the NBA, competed in eight consecutive three-point shooting contests over All-Star Weekend, when he won three consecutive championships between 1990 and 1992 and placed second twice.
He continues to hold the competition records for the majority of threes made in a round (21) and consecutively (19). Hodges was, nevertheless, released by the Bulls following their 1991 trip to the White House and the resultant uproar his activities caused.
He reportedly received zero offers from other teams and decided to compete in the 1993 three-point tournament while sporting an unbranded “NBA” jersey, according to Chicago Mag.
Hodges Helps Coach the Rich East High School Team In Illinois
Hodges claimed to Chicago Mag that his influence over the youth led to his exclusion. Nobody will tell me, so it’s guesswork, he said. “I believe it’s your capacity for clear argumentation, and as a leader, you have a very large speaking platform.
People in positions of power, therefore, want to prevent you from having that influence and from being able to change things because you just might be able to.
Hodges sued the NBA and its 29 teams for $40 million in 1996, alleging that they had blackballed him because of his relationship with Louis Farrakhan and his criticism of “African-American professional athletes who failed to use their considerable wealth and influence to assist the poor and disenfranchised.” Before switching to coaching in 1998, he kept playing on the international stage.
Hodges Has Spoken Highly of Colin Kaepernick and His Boycott
Hodges was one of the series’ major influences, according to Gotham Chopra, the director of Shut Up and Dribble, who spoke with USA Today. He said, “I view the series as the NBA’s alternate past.
Who are the best players and teams in this, not ‘who is watching this?’ Kobe Bryant isn’t really a topic that comes up. The San Antonio Spurs are not really a topic of conversation.
We discuss men like Craig Hodges. We discuss Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the first Colin Kaepernick. What is actually significant here?
Hodges discussed in 2017 the distinctions between his situation and the current debate involving NFL player Colin Kaepernick. According to him, individuals can now connect with you on social media even if they are powerless to influence your opportunity to play. I’m glad that he is aware of the support of others.
Fans who support Colin should express their anger and create a boycott if the NFL doesn’t step up and he doesn’t have the chance. To support his stance, don’t purchase jerseys or attend the game.
Hodges and his wife Allison are currently residing in Park Forest, where he was born and raised. He has three sons: Jibril Hodges, a Long Beach State basketball player, the aforementioned Jamaal Hodges, who coaches at Rich East High School, and Jordan Hodges, a rapper, and fighter with TMT.