Hood refuses to let nerves, sickness get the best of him

GREENSBORO, N.C.—In a bizarre scene, Rodney Hood made his way to the bench just 1:14 in the second half, prompting a stoppage of play. His Duke teammates rose from the bench and huddled around him to shroud their captain from view of the television cameras.

Duke trainer Jose Fonseca sprinted an orange Gatorade cooler down the row so Hood could vomit. Less than a minute later, the Blue Devils tore down the human wall around Hood. After sitting on the bench for just 3:06 of game time, Hood checked back into the contest. He hit his first jumper and played like nothing was wrong.

It was not the first time Hood had suffered a freak illness this season. He missed two starts early in the seasons because he threw up in the locker room moments before tipoff. Andre Dawkins took his place in the starting lineup both times.

"It's happened to him a couple times this year. I guess it's nerves, but once he gets it out of him, it just happens and he's back in there," sophomore forward Amile Jefferson said. "It's not something that derails him, so we know when it happens he'll be out one, two, three plays and we have guys that come in to pick him up."

Hood said that once he got everything out of his system, he felt fine finishing the game against Clemson. To put the skeptics to shame, the Meridian, Miss., native did not let his nerves get to him when he stepped to the line with 3.8 seconds left and knocked down both ends of a one-and-one to send his team through to the ACC tournament semifinals.

"I felt good after it," Hood said of his moment on the sidelines. "So I mean, if it works then, oh well."


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