Former Duke basketball star returns to school in order to earn degree

Former Duke basketball star Rodney Hood plays in Madison Square Garden
Former Duke basketball star Rodney Hood plays in Madison Square Garden /

Former Duke basketball star Rodney Hood returned to school in order to earn his degree from the university.

The year 2020 hasn’t been a promising one to anyone, but former Duke star Rodney Hood is using the devastating year as a chance to grow and develop personally.

Fresh off an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, which saw Hood emerge as a third threat with the Portland Trail Blazers behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, he ruptured his Achilles on December 6 against the Los Angles Lakers.

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Hood had to undergo surgery and was forced to miss the remainder of the season, although that was suspended in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, prior to the suspension of the season, the injury opened Hood’s eyes to what his life would be like and motivated him to do something that he’s always wanted to do: return to Duke and earn his degree.

In an ESPN article written by Eric Woodyard, he details Hood’s decision process and how he went about returning to Duke, albeit in an online format due to the former Blue Devil living in Portland and the pandemic at the moment.

Hood was only eight credits away from earning his undergraduate degree from Duke, and head coach Mike Krzyzewski told Woodyard that he wasn’t surprised at all that the All-ACC player returned to school.

ALSO READ: Rodney Hood expects to be back in Portland next season

Rodney Hood was the only member of his immediate family who had not earned his college degree when he left Duke after his junior season.

The Meridian, Mississippi native began his career at Mississippi State and transferred to Duke after one season, but he had to sit out the first season he was in Durham because of NCAA transfer rules and regulations.

After just one season on the court in Durham, Hood entered the 2014 NBA Draft and has spent time with the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Portland Trail Blazers.

ALSO READ: Duke recruiters haven’t forgotten about former Durham star

In his piece, Woodyard explains that it was Rodney Hood’s wife, Richa Hood (nee. Jackson), who played basketball at Duke from 2010 to 2014 and earned her degree from the university, that played a major role in the former Blue Devil going back to school.

Given the circumstances of the world, Rodney Hood is very appreciative of earning his degree from Duke University and knows it will serve him well when his basketball career comes to an end, whenever that may be.