A Benedict College basketball player killed in a hit-and-run crash strived to see the best in himself and in those around him, his father said Sunday.
Rashee Hodges, 22, died from his injuries after the 1:20 a.m. Sunday accident, after a car hit him while he stood on the side of the roadway in the 5400 block of Bluff Road in Hopkins, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.
Hodges, of Smoaks, started his collegiate career at the University of South Carolina-Salkehatchie, before Benedict College offered him the opportunity to finish his business degree in Columbia, said Hodges’ father, Lamonte Hodges. He was in his junior year at Benedict.
Dennis Switzer, Benedict College’s sports information director, said Rashee Hodges played 26 minutes in Saturday’s basketball game, where the Tigers defeated Kentucky State. He graduated from Colleton County High School, according to a news release from Benedict.
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Rashee Hodges, who dreamed of playing for the NBA or on an overseas team, was working hard to get his college degree, his father said. The young player also loved the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers and basketball’s legendary players, including Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“He loved LeBron James,” said Lamonte Hodges of his son. “He was a fan of great players.”
Rashee Hodges wasn’t much of a prankster or a jokester, but he enjoyed sharing a laugh with his friends, the elder Hodges said. He was close with his family, and loved everyone who was around him.
“He was always humble, always listening,” Lamonte Hodges said. “He was one who strived for all of his family.”
Benedict College will hold a moment of silence at 3 p.m. Monday in front of the Benjamin F. Payton Human Resource Center, as well as a candlelight vigil after the evening’s game at the Benjamin E. Mays Arena. Monday’s game against the Lane Dragons also will be dedicated to Hodges.
Many reacted on social media to word of Hodges’ death.
A tweet from USC-Salkehatchie noted, “We lost one of our family members last night, Rashee Hodges. He was one of the hardest working and toughest kids to come through our program.”
At Colleton County High School, where Hodges played basketball and football, a tweet called Hodges a “great leader, teammate, and young man.”
Jay Reid, Newberry College assistant basketball coach who previously coached at USC-Salkehatchie, tweeted that he was “speechless.”
“Rashee Hodges. One of most passionate young men I've ever coached. Rest easy my man. Love you.”
Lamonte Hodges said he was thankful to all of the men who encouraged Rashee Hodges throughout this high school and collegiate career.
S.C. Highway Patrol did not identify a second person who was hit by the car that also killed Hodges. The condition of that person was not known Sunday.
Investigators still are seeking the public’s help in finding the car involved in the crash, which was a gold, four-door Toyota Camry built between 1997 and 2001. It should have “major damage to the right front (passenger) bumper, headlight and side mirror area.”
Anyone with information is asked to call S.C. Highway Patrol at (803) 896-9621 or can leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC.