Coach Grant Hodges, “Seeing the Big Picture”
When you think of true “Grassroots” travel ball teams, one has to think of the Carolina Riptide. Five years ago, Coach Grant Hodges formed the Riptide program with one single team. Now, he has five teams and continue to grow. More importantly, they have done it the right way and have become one of the favorite teams of D2 and D3 coaches, especially during COVID when D1 coaches were not allowed to evaluate teams and players in person.
Coach Hodges sees the big picture and truly understands the landscape of college recruiting. The Riptide has developed their own niche and that is to utilize local talent that wants to play at the next level. While they will have D1 prospects on their rosters, they have gone after young players that have a tremendous work ethic, play hard and play together. His roster is one that D2 and D3 schools will watch almost every game. First of all, they are fun to watch. They will give maximum effort, make the extra pass and play excellent team basketball.
In the past five years, his oldest son Bland is playing collegiately at Randolph College, Jacob Morgan earned a scholarship from Emory and Henry, Michael Dulin (William Peace), Callahan Reed (St. John Fisher), Christian Taylor (Emory and Henry-Football), while his youngest son Clay will be playing at Mars Hill. As you can easily see, there are different levels across the board, but the Riptide is a growing program that is using their platform to get young players to play at the appropriate collegiate level.
While a lot of programs are chasing the big-name players and many will capitalize off the success of the individual player. For the Riptide program, it’s about development of each individual player and the opportunity to improve and get better. Without their platform, many of these players may have fallen through the cracks, simply because so many teams and players have the D1 or else mentality. For Coach Grant Hodges and the Carolina Riptide program, they understand the “Big Picture” and their philosophy will garnish college coaches at all levels watching them throughout the summer.