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Julius Hodge: Still Helping Raleigh

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This off-season, one of NC State’s all-time greats has come back to Raleigh to give back to the town that helped make him a star.

Julius Hodge spent four years at State helping put the basketball program back on the map ,using not only his talent on the floor, but his quick wit with the media and his heart for the city. Today, after spending five years playing in the NBA and overseas, Hodge is back in Raleigh and using his skill, wit, and heart all over again to help out his school and his city.

This past week Julius held his first annual basketball camp here in Raleigh. Camp24Hodge was a week long skills camp for ages 6-14 where twenty kids learned not only how to win on the court, but off-the-court as well. “It’s not just about teaching them basketball skills.” said Hodge “It’s about showing them how to succeed in life. If you have good manners,  you’re a good person, you always have a smile on your face, you try to do the right thing and you’re hard working then you can pretty much reach and achieve all of the goals you have in life. Pretty much I’m teaching them that through basketball.” The camp took place at Grand Slam USA, only a mile from the arena where Hodge starred for the Wolfpack. Over the week kids from all over the area came to participate, compete and learn from one of the hardest working players out there today.

After four very productive years at NC State Julius was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 20th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft. He spent 2 years between the Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks before heading overseas to play in Europe and finally finding a home in Australia with the 36ers. Although Hodge found a great deal of success in Australia, NC State fans had not heard much from their one time fan favorite. That was until this past February when Hodge finally made his way back to Raleigh. “I had been working so hard to reach my goal of playing in the NBA and I’ve been really doing what everyone else wanted me to do in a way.” Hodge explained. “Then one day my wife just said ‘What do you want to do? You do what you want to do.’ I love Raleigh and this is where I wanted to be. I love Harlem but I wanted to come back here and have my camp, and start up some foundations that give back to the community.”

The Jules from Harlem arrived back in Raleigh and immediately picked up where he left off. He connected back with NC State fans through interviews, facebook and the new means of media he’s seemingly become famous for, Twitter.Hodge has become Raleigh’s version of Ocho Cinco in the world of social media. His nearly 1,500 followers can keep track of his daily antics as he updates them with witty one-liners and funny happenings throughout his day. Hodge has used these networks, not only to entertain, but to market two things that are very important to him. His basketball camp and his project “African Education Initiative” where he’s teamed up with Russell Simmons to help bring sustainable energy to the Tonga people in the Congo. He even has an event coming up in the Hamptons on July 3rd to help promote his cause which actually will be covered and aired on the Oxygen Network in coming weeks.

From basketball camps, to his work with the less fortunate, Julius Hodge continues to put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces, and continues to give back to the city and people that gave so much to him.

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Pack in the Pros

TJ Warren is Back Baby!

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Tonight, former NC State ACC Player of the Year TJ Warren played his first NBA game since December 29, 2020, and HE’S STILL GOT IT!

For the first time as a member of the Nets, Warren stepped on the court.

Tony Buckets came off the bench, and managed to score 10 points (5-11 FG) and grab 4 rebounds in 17 minutes of play in Brooklyn’s 114-105 victory over the Raptors.

 

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Zonovan Knight Makes Jets History in NFL Debut

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Former NC State All-American (Kickoff Returner) and All-ACC Running Back Zonovan Knight made his NFL debut today in the Jets 31-10 victory over the Bears, and in doing so, he made New York history.

Knight had 69 yards on 14 carries (4.9 yards per carry) and had 3 receptions for 34 yards, giving him 103 yards from scrimmage, setting a new Jets record for yards from scrimmage in an NFL debut.

Bam went undrafted earlier this year, but then signed an undrafted free agent deal with New York. He initially made the Jets 53-man roster, but then was waived a few days later to make space for an Offensive Lineman. Two days later, the Jets signed Knight to their Practice Squad, and that’s where he was until he was called up to the 53-man roster on October 25th.

Though Bam has been on the 53-man roster since then, today was the first time that he was Active. This came after Jets Running Back James Robinson was listed as a healthy scratch. When Running Back Michael Carter left the game in the 1st half with an ankle injury, it was Knight’s turn to step in as RB1.

Knight ended up playing 49% of the offensive snaps for the Jets today.

Also, dude was wearing a Scarface sweater for his postgame press conference…serious drip.

Also, Knight made a bet with Jets Running Back Michael Carter, a former Tar Heel, that if NC State beat UNC, he would have to wear an NC State shirt tomorrow to practice. Love it Bam!

Knight might have just made a big enough splash to justify more of an active role with the New York Jets.

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Carlos Rodon Finishes 6th in 2022 National League Cy Young Award Voting

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Earlier this week, the 2022 Cy Young Winners were announced, and former NC State All-American Pitcher Carlos Rodon came in 6th in the National League voting.

Sandy Alcantara, MIA: 30 (first-place votes) – 210 points
Max Fried, ATL: 10 (2nd), 7 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 72 points
Julio Urías, LAD: 7 (2nd), 9 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 66 points
Aaron Nola, PHI: 5 (2nd), 6 (3rd), 4 (4th), 2 (5th) – 48 points
Zac Gallen, ARI: 3 (2nd), 5 (3rd), 6 (4th), 6 (5th) – 45 points
Carlos Rodón, SF: 3 (2nd), 1 (3rd), 4 (4th), 7 (5th) – 30 points
Corbin Burnes, MIL: 1 (2nd), 2 (3rd), 1 (4th), 8 (5th) – 20 points
Yu Darvish, SD: 3 (4th), 1 (5th) – 7 points
Edwin Díaz, NYM: 1 (2nd), 2 (5th) – 6 points
Kyle Wright, ATL: 1 (4th), 1 (5th) – 3 points
Logan Webb, SF: 1 (4th) – 2 points
Ryan Helsley, STL: 1 (5th) – 1 point (MLB)

Rodon finished the 2022 season with a 14-8 record, a 2.88 ERA, 237 strikeouts (179 innings) and a WHIP of 1.03. In the National League, he ranked 6th in ERA, 2nd in K’s, 9th in WHIP and 9th in Wins.

In 2021, Rodon finished 5th in the Cy Young Award voting for the American League.

Rodon is now a Free Agent, and is set to become a very wealthy man after the past two seasons he’s put together.

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Trea Turner Wins First Silver Slugger Award

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop recently won the National League Silver Slugger Award for the Shortstop position, the first of his career.

Among Shortstops, Turner led the MLB in hits (194) while coming 2nd in Batting Average (.298), doubles (39) and RBI’s (100).

Turner also earned his 2nd All-Star appearance in 2022.

The Dodgers recently issued a Qualifying Offer to Turner, who is now a Free Agent, and as expected he declined it.

Turner is about to make boat loads of money.

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