At the start of each academic year, the Trinity University community shares a joint reading experience through the Reading TUgether program, which encourages students, staff, faculty, and alumni to read a single book. In the 2021 selection, Long Shot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter, two-time NBA champion Craig Hodges chronicles his successes on the basketball court and the social activism that resulted in his being ostracized by powerful forces in and beyond sports. Hodges shares stories of encounters with Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King, Jim Brown, R. Kelly, Michael Jordan, and others from his lifelong fight for equality for Black Americans.
Plans for the Reading TUgether lecture are being reviewed based on Trinity's most updated COVID-19 policies and procedures and will be announced at a later date.
Hodges attended California State University, Long Beach before beginning a professional career that included playing for the San Diego Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, and Chicago Bulls. He was most remembered during his Bulls years as part of the bench that led the team to the 1991 and 1992 NBA Championships. Hodges became the second player (after Larry Bird) to win three consecutive Three Point Contests, in 1990, 1991, and 1992. Later, Hodges played professionally in Sweden with Jamtland and, after that, coached college basketball at Chicago State University.
Trinity sport management chair Jacob Tingle ’95 brought Long Shot to the Reading TUgether selection committee. During Tingle’s sophomore year at Trinity, he recalls that Craig Hodges hand-delivered a letter to President George H. W. Bush, which included this challenge: “It is very important that the citizens of this great nation make a determination on what side of history we will be on in this most critical hour.” Remembering the inspirational image of Hodges on the White House lawn, Tingle says, “I continue to be personally impacted by his bravery and struggle for freedom—for all Americans. As such, I’m thrilled his memoir was selected as the Reading TUgether book.”
“Mr. Hodges’ journey details the importance of education, mentorship, and leadership and highlights the need for brave, vocal leaders who fight for social justice issues,” Tingle says. “Through reading this book, my hope is that the Trinity campus will engage in conversations about what it means to be an ally—or better, what it means to be an accomplice—for our BIPOC family members.”
After reading Long Shot, one first-year student commented, “While unaccustomed firsthand to Hodge’s life experiences, I was able to appreciate his story and understand where he was coming from; his insight on particular injustices that have continually targeted the Black community has inspired me to continue to learn what more needs to be done.”
Reading TUgether is especially targeted to incoming first-years as they prepare over the summer to dive into the college environment and start learning to think critically about the material they consume. In addition to reading the program’s selection, first-year Trinity students are required to complete a short, online summer research assignment that delves more deeply into the text. Tiger alumni are also reading the book as part of their Alumni Book Club this summer.
Reading TUgether continuously enables poignant and insightful commentary about many contemporary social issues, such as technology’s invasion on privacy, the debilitating impact of insecure housing, the profit-driven tactics of food giants that shape our diet, and many others. In recent years, selections have included On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss, Evicted by Matthew Desmond, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss, and Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong by Raymond Bonner.