Plattsburgh State senior Ezra Hodgson learned what it was like to be a leader at a young age. The eldest of seven children, Ezra was raised with strong family values. He spent a lot of time with his siblings, especially since he was homeschooled until the eighth grade.
One of his brothers, Eli Hodgson, said he always tried keeping up with him, whether it was taking off his training wheels earlier than most kids, learning how to swim or even on the basketball court.
Eli said that in high school, Ezra, who was the star of their basketball team, was someone he really looked up to.
Eli remembered how they would act out roles from the Lord of the Rings trilogy when they were younger. Ezra always reenacted Aragorn, a supporting character who served as a companion and a protector.
Now that he’s older, Ezra has developed characteristics similar to Aragorn. Besides Ezra’s grizzly beard and towering stance at 6 feet 6 inches tall, head coach Tom Curle said Ezra has become a “very good defender” over time.
“With his combination of size and skill, he’s really a threat to opponents,” Curle said.
Curle said it’s rewarding for him to see Ezra turn into a well-rounded person and an overall strong leader.
“The biggest development I’ve seen in Ezra is a maturity of approach to not only the game, but to his role on campus,” Curle said.
Loyal to the sport, Ezra said, “Basketball was like my first love.”
Like all first loves, basketball introduced him to new things. He met his best friend, senior guard Mike Mitchell ,while playing basketball in high school. He met his girlfriend of three years playing pickup basketball. He even made his decision to attend PSUC on the court.
Originally, Ezra was interested in Nichols College in Massachusetts. Mitchell sparked Ezra’s interest in PSUC. When Ezra visited the campus, he only went through half of the tour. He played a pickup game with some of the players on the team. One of the players stood out to Ezra.
“I played pretty well, but I had that one moment where he yammed on me pretty hard,” Ezra said.
After the game, he said he told his mom in the car:
“This is where I want to go to school. This place is going to make me better.”
Mitchell said he received a Facebook message from Ezra asking if he wanted to be his roommate.
For the past four years, the two have been living together.
Mitchell said although they are two different kinds of people, Mitchell a night owl and Ezra an early bird, they’ve learned from each other. Mitchell considers Ezra a lifelong friend.
“He’s definitely someone who’s always going to be there for his team,” Mitchell said. “If you don’t already know him, he’s definitely a good person to know.”
He’s captain of the basketball team and president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, a group of student athletes that support each other, give back to the community and has one-third of the vote in NCAA rules and regulations.
A dedicated public relations major with a minor in marketing, Ezra serves as secretary for Cardinal PR, the student-run PR firm. He was also the account manager for the school’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America’s recent golf event.
For now, his goal after graduation is to start his career back in New Hampshire, where he’s from.
His teacher, Colleen Lemza, said Ezra has the right attitude for the profession. Lemza said that while skill is required in the field, attitude is just as important.
“His enthusiasm is contagious,” she said.
Ezra said while he’ll miss the people and connections he’s met here, he’s excited for the next step in his life.
“I feel like I’ve done college right,” Ezra said.
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