Hood to go into JMU Hall of Fame
Apr. 6, 2005
Jennifer Beekman
Staff Writer

Wheaton boys basketball coach Steve Hood, who led the Knights to their best showing in more than five years ­ they reached the final of the 3A West Region playoffs, before falling to Bethesda-Chevy Chase -- is not a guy who gets all wrapped up in accolades.

But he'll admit his most recent accomplishment is pretty big.

On Friday, Hood will be inducted into the James Madison University Hall of Fame for his on-court performance during his 1989-1991 stint as a shooting guard for the Dukes.

"It's a great honor for me to go down in sports history [at JMU]," Hood said. "Being recognized as one of the best athletes."

And, ironically enough, alongside Hood at the induction ceremony will be former JMU coach, who like Hood spent a number of years at the University Maryland as well, Lefty Driesell, the man who originally recruited Hood out of high school.

"It makes it a lot better," Hood said of being inducted with Driesell. "He's the one that brought me there. He put JMU on the map. He brought the limelight to Harrisonburg. It's fitting in the end that we go in together."

When Hood first caught the eye of Driesell, the latter was the head coach at Maryland. Hood was playing at DeMatha. Hood signed to play at Maryland, but Driesell ended up retiring that summer. Hood spent two years as a Terrapin, but when Driesell was hired as the JMU coach in 1988, he decided to transfer.

Hood sat out a year after the transfer because of NCAA rules, but it didn't take him long to acclimate to his new surroundings. He averaged 22 points in his first year with the Dukes to lead the Colonial Athletic Association and his team in scoring. That year Hood was named CAA Player of the Year and JMU won the CAA regular season, boasting a 20-11 overall record and an 11-3 record in the league. During his second season, 1990-1991, he averaged 20.7 points per game to lead the Dukes to another CAA regular-season title and repeat as the league's top player.

In his two years with the Dukes, during which he started all 60 games, Hood snapped several program records, including scoring -- he averaged 21.4 points in his two seasons -- and 3-point shooting percentage (46.4 percent).


Note: Hood played nine years of professional basketball -- one with the NBA's Sacramento Kings, eight overseas with stops in Greece, Spain, France, Israel, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and Venezuela.