Hello everyone! My name is Paris Hodges and I am currently a junior at Southampton High School, and this is my first diary entry for the girls basketball team! I would like to thank Mr. Nick Thomas for asking me to write the diaries, I am excited to share my basketball journey with my community.
So, how did I start playing? I started playing basketball in third grade for HYAL. I have to thank my dad, Paris Hodges, Coach Hank Katz and Coach Diane Guida for introducing me to team basketball. It was great to learn so young so it could bring me to a level where I am now. Currently, I am in my third varsity season as a guard for the Southampton Lady Mariners coached by Juni Wingfield. I also play for my travel team, Long Island Lightning, coached by Greg Flynn. I play all year round and have traveled all over the country to play basketball. This summer my AAU team played in the Gym Rats tournament in Albany, Blue Chip-Penn State, Blue Chip-Villanova, U.S. Junior Nationals in Washington, D.C., and NIKE Chicago. My favorite was NIKE Chicago because the level of talent was unbelievable! I saw future UConn women’s basketball recruits. My teammates and I, including one of my fellow Lady Mariners, Kesi Goree, did very well. From those tournaments, I received 36 college letters of interest and 21 were from Division I colleges. Traveling the AAU circuit is the best way to gain exposure. My dream is to play basketball in college. I know I need to balance my academic and basketball goals to go to a great college.
Last month, I had the opportunity to play for two All-Star Teams, the Alzheimer’s Basketball Classic and the Metro Classic. Both basketball tournaments raised money for the fight against Alzheimer’s and cancer. I have to say thanks for all of the local support and well wishes I received. My Suffolk team beat the Nassau team in the Alzheimer’s Classic and my Long Island Hudson Valley team (the Burbs) beat the NYC team (the Boros) in the Metro Classic. But I realize the real prize was raising money to help people who are battling against cancer and Alzheimer’s.
I really owe all my basketball accomplishments to my coaches, Juni Wingfield and Greg Flynn, and of course my first coach, my dad. They are the ones who have taught me that hard work and practice pays off.
We have a very strong team this year. We just played Westhampton Beach and we were able to pull out a win. They played tough against us but we ran our strong defense. If you have time come out and watch us! A special shout-out to my fellow Lady Mariners—Kesi, Dominique, Kelsey, Cassidy, Carley, Jasmin, Sunceri, Rashelle, Sydney, Kyra, and my little sister Noël.
Good luck for a successful season to Shaundell and the boys Mariners basketball team.
As my Coach Juni says, “Good, better, best, never let it rest!”