Jon Hood has his eyes set upon something great in this world. Not just with basketball, but on helping those that are less fortunate than himself and many other people in this world. Ever since Hood’s sixth grade year, he had a plan set out in front of him and all ready to go. The person that inspired him to do so? His younger brother Mitchell.
Every Saturday, Hood, his family and his younger brother made the 40-minute drive north from their home in Madisonville, Ky., so Mitchell could play in a special needs baseball league in Henderson, Ky. There weren’t any options for Mitchell, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, to play in any games around Madisonville, so drive north every week, every Saturday, they did. On the way back they would pick Mister B’s in Henderson, and spend some time together. Jon didn’t realize it until the road trips stopped happening, but those memories would end up being one of the best of his life.
“The lady that ran it moved out of town,” Hood said in an exclusive interview with CoachCal.com. “Nobody wanted to pick it up. Nobody wanted to communicate with anybody. It just stopped. Nobody went about it.”
Jon’s plan as a young kid was to earn a scholarship at a major college program playing basketball, go play professionally, and earn some money to start up a special needs basketball league back home. Jon is Mitchell’s role model, and to help his younger brother and many other unfortunate kids as much as he can would mean the world to him. Hood has always wanted to help others just like his brother.
Jon Hood had a major set back during the 2011-2012 National Championship season. The torn ACL injury side-lined Hood for a good season, but now he is back and fully recovered. Limited playing time was a problem but he soon learned to appreciate the love of the grind that John Calipari gave. Hood would like to thank his former teammates for giving him advice to work harder. Here is what Jon had to say for CoachCal.com about his perspective:
“This year I don’t have to worry about the knee,” Hood said. “It’s fully back, fully healed. It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s something that I’m happy I don’t have to worry about. I can just focus on basketball. This offseason was a lot better for me personally as far as getting my mindset right for the season. You’ve got everybody here. You get accustomed to everybody. You get close with one another. You don’t have to spend half your day in the training room rehabbing. You can go eat with them after when we get done practicing or lifting or whatever. That’s a big thing for me is being around the guys.”
Jon Hood is a really good kid. He really does work hard with what is put in front of him. He isn’t the best player, he could’ve gone to another program to get good minutes, he could’ve easily moved on. But the jive that Hood shows is excellent. He knows he can play against the best competition at Kentucky while going up against the best in practice too. The article at CoachCal.com is a good read about Hood and the paths that he’s followed or currently going through. It’s really good to see that people do care about the little things.