Roneeka Hodges: Back in Texas
After a year in Minnesota, Hodges returns to Texas.
by Stephen Litel / @stephenlitel
Entering last season with the Minnesota Lynx, many did not give Roneeka Hodges much of a chance to make the team’s roster. Although a veteran presence was needed and welcome on the young roster, there would not be much room for her. After the early season injury to Seimone Augustus, Hodges, who had indeed secured a roster spot, stepped in and played the best basketball of her career.
As is the case with many players, Hodges takes her game overseas during the WNBA’s off-season. After the best season of her career statistically, Hodges utilizes the time overseas well. Some players tweak small aspects of their games that will make them even more dangerous, but others, like Hodges, use the time to improve in every way possible.
“I am playing in Poland now,” said Hodges. “It is a little different experience for me than my previous experiences overseas, but I am happy and things are going well for the team. We are finishing up with the last regular season game and on to the playoffs where we hope to get to the finals and win the Polish title. I think I’m just focused on my game as a whole and getting better at every aspect of it. I just want to focus on being consistent in doing the things that I do well and getting better at the things that are not so good.”
As a free agent this off-season, Hodges decided to sign on in San Antonio, a veteran team with championship aspirations. She now makes a return to Texas after playing for the now-folded Houston Comets and will join stars like Becky Hammon and Sophia Young. Encouraged by what she can bring to the already solid team, Hodges is excited as to what the team can accomplish.
“San Antonio has always been one of my favorite places to play since I started out in Houston, and I have always admired the chemistry and the way that the Silver Stars played,” said Hodges. “I’m looking forward to being a part of things with them and having a great season. I’ve always watched the way the team played and the system from playing them so many times, and I really felt like it would be a perfect situation and a great fit for my style of play. To top that off, San Antonio has always been a great team and contenders in the Western Conference, so for me it was the perfect place to be.”
Yet, Hodges is not the newest face in the organization. After signing on with San Antonio, long-time coach Dan Hughes decided to move into the front office permanently, naming Sandy Brondello the team’s new head coach. A former player with success on both the stages of the WNBA and international play, Brondello brings a fresh voice to the team and Hodges looks forward to learning from her new coach.
As well as having a new head coach at the helm, San Antonio also brought in Michelle Snow, Hodges former teammate in Houston. Snow’s career seemed to be going along well, but stumbled some last year in Atlanta. She was never able to find her role on that squad, but another change of scenery very well may be what was needed. If her play overseas is any indication of how she will play for San Antonio, Snow will only make the team even more dangerous.
“I think adding Snow was a great move for us,” says Hodges. “She is a veteran player and can be a dominating inside presence for us this year. Along with the inside players that we already have, the addition of Snow can make us much better on both ends including rebounding.”
With a core group of players who have been together for awhile now, as well as bringing in new weapons, San Antonio may very well find themselves in the mix to win the tough Western Conference as well as the WNBA title. Of course, as is the case with most teams, the question will be how quickly the chemistry comes together. Yet, with a group of veterans who want to win, building chemistry and playing the right way should not be an issue.
“I think the additions add to the talent that is already in place and hopefully makes the team better,” says Hodges. “San Antonio has been a contender in the tough Western Conference for a while now and we hope to do the same this season.”
It’s not long before training camp, so soon enough Hodges will be loved yet again in Texas.