Bryan Hodgson has been recognized in recent years as one of the best recruiters in college basketball.
The 2005 Jamestown High School graduate also seems to know a thing or two about being a CEO.
Led by 19 points from Nick Perkins, 18 from CJ Massinburg and 17 from Wes Clark, Blue Collar U defeated Americana for Autism 89-67 on Tuesday night in Dayton to claim the Basketball Tournament championship and the award for a million dollars for the winner.
For GM Hodgson, who recruited many of BCU’s players to the University of Buffalo when he was an assistant there, a remarkable rise to the top of his profession continues. Although only 35 years old, Hodgson is in his third year as an assistant at Alabama, after beginning his career as an assistant at SUNY Fredonia and then Jamestown Community College. He later spent two years at Midland (Texas) College and four at UB, where he helped the Bulls to three Mid-American Conference titles and three NCAA Tournaments.
Hodgson’s connection to the Amherst campus and the players he recruited there remains strong. Perkins, Massinburg, Clark and co played like that from the start last night, especially on the defensive end.
With former UB head coach and current Alabama head coach Nate Oats watching from the stands at UD Arena, Blue Collar U jumped out to a 17-5 lead in the first quarter and led 45-31 at halftime. The margin grew to 22 after the break and the UB alumni team cruised to victory.
The Blue Collar U players will split the winning pot and have pledged to donate those winnings to Coaching Love, a non-profit foundation Hodgson has established to help at-risk youth and encourage children to attend sports camps and clinics .
According to ESPN.com writer Jeff Borzello, Massingburg, Perkins and Clark will each make $100,000, fellow starters Blake Hamilton and Dontay Caruthers will make $85,000 and the rest of the players and coaches will make between $15,000 and $60,000.
Regardless of the financial gain, Hodgson continues to make his mark, on and off the pitch.
“My childhood and my situation – being a foster child, being raised by an orphaned mother and the son of a World War II prisoner of war – made me a relationship person.” Bryan told The Post-Journal in 2018. “I think that’s the biggest thing in recruiting. It’s nothing else. It’s about being able to tell people you really care.”
The Basketball Tournament, which has been played every summer since 2014, has 64 teams and is broadcast by ESPN. Blue Collar U’s path to the championship included wins over NG Saints; Friday beers; The Nerd Team; Fire of the heart; Red scare; and finally, Americana for Autism.