KALAMAZOO, Mich. – For the first time since Mark Ghafari '14, the Kalamazoo College men's basketball program has produced a professional.
Roger Hood '18 made his professional debut Thursday night for the Hon. Baldwin Spencer Braves of the Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association scoring four points and snatching five rebounds.
"Everything happened so fast that it didn't really hit me that I was really playing pro ball until I was checking into the game," Hood said. "At that moment I had feelings of overwhelming excitement to embark on my journey as a professional hooper, which has been a dream of mine since I was five years old."
The business major and Orchard Lake St. Mary's product started all 25 games his senior season while averaging 7.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in a season that saw the most Hornet wins since Ghafari's senior campaign.
Hood signed his professional contract on Tuesday, flew to Antigua on Wednesday, and logged 18 minutes of action on Thursday. Just moments after checking into the game, Hood was part of a fast break that resulted in the Detroit native's first professional points coming off a two-handed dunk.
"I'm very excited for Roger," Kalamazoo College Head Coach Jay Smith said. "Roger bought in from my first day and helped establish the great culture we have. I've coached a lot of pros and Roger is no different in terms of his work ethic and drive to be successful."
As Hood settles into his new career and dons the same number as he did for the Hornets, 15, he knows getting acclimated quickly is key.
"I was more focused on defense and rebounding because I couldn't really find my rhythm," Hood said. "I didn't shoot a ball the last two days. I was able to feel things out and I'll find my offensive rhythm when I workout [Friday]. I had a great time though. I know I'm going to have a lot of success in this league."
--Story by Nathan Frisbie