CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - In pro sports, the chance to make it big usually only comes once. One former college star didn't see his pro dream go as planned and now he's determined to make his second chance count.
"I know I can do it, so it's all good right there," said former NC State guard Julius Hodge.
Hodge was a superstar at NC State, leading the Wolfpack to the Sweet 16 in his senior season. The Denver Nuggets picked him in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft.
Hodge's time in Denver didn't go as planned. He bounced around the NBA before taking his game to Europe.
"My first year overseas, it was real tough to watch NBA basketball," said Hodge. "I didn't want to see it. You get to seeing guys, you're like, 'I know I'm better than them if I had the opportunity.'"
Now, Hodge is training with a CCU assistant basketball coach, hoping to make it back. He wishes some things were different about his first NBA run, but he's not asking for sympathy.
"I had a shot," said Hodge. "Not a lot of people get drafted first round in the NBA, now I have my opportunity and I have to take full advantage of it. It's not in anyone else's hands but mine, I know I'm ready, I know I'll get back this time. I'm excited about it."
Hodge does have his opportunity. He will play with the Chicago Bulls summer league team starting July 10.
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