Walter Hodge, Director of Gifted Athletes Puerto Rico
Walter was born in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He attended Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Florida, and played high school basketball for the Florida Air Falcons. He averaged 25.4 points, 5.4 steals and 4.2 assists per game for Florida Air Academy as a senior, leading his squad to a perfect 29-0 mark. Hodge was selected as the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year and finished third in the state in the voting for Mr. Basketball. He was selected the MVP of the state tournament after pouring in 33 points in the championship game. Walter set a school record by draining eight three-pointers in one game. He ended up winning two state titles in three years, with his squad going 32-0 during his sophomore season. Hodge then went on to play at the University of Florida, for legendary coach Billy Donovan from 2005 to 2009. Hodge was an integral piece of both of the National Championship teams at Florida, doing whatever it took to propel his team to victory. The core of his team went on to the NBA or graduated after winning their 2nd National Championship, making Hodge the most experienced returning player. He continued to lead an inexperienced Gator team, and starting all 36 games. He finished third in scoring at 10.4 points per game, and was second in minutes per game at 30.4 per contest his junior year. He dished out 103 assists, second on the squad, and hit 55 three-pointers, the second-highest total on the team. His senior year was no different. Hodge continued to be an extension of his coach on the floor, and left Florida as the most winningest player in program history, and for that reason his jersey hangs in the University of Florida’s practice facility along other UF greats. During his four-year tenure with the Gators, Hodge became the all-time leader in career games played at 151, and he finished his career with 1,074 total points scored.
He then went on to play professionally overseas, and in April, 2012, Hodge was named the Most Valuable Player of the Polish Basketball League. On February 25, 2013 Hodge was awarded the Polish-Czech All Star Game MVP, and he was also named to the All-Eurocup Second Team later that year. In June, 2013 he won the Polish League Championship. It was the first national championship in Zielona Góra’s history. On June 5, 2013 Basket Zielona Góra retired Hodge’s jersey number 15. He was the first player in the club’s history to be honored with a jersey retirement. In 2014, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional after averaging 16.9 points per game. Hodge also dished out 6.9 assists per game. Since leaving Florida, Walter has played in Spain, Poland, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He is also a proud member of the U.S. Virgin Islands National team. The oldest of six children, Walter enjoys reading, going to the movies, and hanging out at the beach in his spare time. Walter resides in Puerto Rico with his wife Kayla, and their two children Kailanys and Kedirel. Hodge currently plays with the ASVEL Basket club in France.