Michael Hood may not be the biggest guy on the court, but his heart for the game is unmeasurable as the guard out of Missouri awaits for TBL teams to decide his fate.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Two hours before the start of the 2023 TBL Draft, Michael Hood stood off to the side of the basketball court at D1 Training dripping in sweat with a smile on his face.
“I know I am not the biggest guy here and maybe don’t fit what a lot of these teams are looking for,” said Hood, a 5-10 point guard who played his college basketball at Hannibal Lagrange University.
“I just tried to come out here and do the little things – communicate on every possession and try to get guys involved.”
Hood did that and more.
He showed he belonged.
In a two day span that saw over 100 players participate in the TBL Draft Combine, #7 in the yellow jersey might possibly be the steal of the night for one TBL team come selection time. Don’t let the stature fool you. It’s the size of the heart that counts more. The kid can straight out play, as Michael became one of the more talked about players of Saturday and Sunday’s combine games.
He hit three after three.
He was aggressive on both ends of the floor.
He got guys on his team involved early and often.
And he nearly gave up on all of this and his dream of playing professionally.
“I almost quit on the whole thing. I had some family things going on that was more important than chasing the pro dream,” the native of Advance, Missouri explained while three courts of competition were going on behind him.
Good thing the kid kept at it. Because there’s a pretty solid chance that Michael Hood will hear his name called tonight during the TBL Draft. After averaging 12 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game last season for the HLU Trojans, Hood shook off some early jitters on Day 1 of the Combine to turn heads and get teams talking about his overall game. With each passing game, another TBL would approach him, pull him to the side, and pepper Michael with question after question.
“I lost track of the teams who came up and talked to me yesterday and today. I am not going to pretend to be the best guard out here, but I felt like I did some good things out there. I know what I am capable of. The way I look at it, if I can get my team communicating and on the same page, that only increases our chances of all getting selected in the draft.”
So what would it mean for Michael Hood to hear his name called on TBL Draft night?
His eyes lit up and a smile came across his face at the mere thought of the question.
“It would be a dream come true,” Hood admitted.
“It really would.”
Wendell Maxey is the author of Around The Basketball League and has written about professional basketball and sports for 19 years. He’s been featured on NBA.com, ESPN.com, USA Today, FOX Sports, and SLAM Magazine among other publications and media outlets. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or read through his archive on Linktree.