JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Very few people are privileged enough to play collegiate basketball, and even fewer people are able to play for the Naval Academy, but Jace Hogan has done just that.
Hogan, now a junior forward, is getting ready to play what he hopes will be a promising senior year for the Jacksonville University Dolphins.
“Jace is a quality young man who has matured a bunch during his time here,” said Anthony Jasick, JU men’s basketball head coach. “He’s a great teammate and ambassador for our program and athletic department. I look forward to coaching him throughout the remainder of his career at JU as he continues to help us build our program.”
Serving as a member of the armed forces can be tough and demands one’s full commitment and attention.
“I really enjoyed my time at the Naval Academy, but I wasn’t sure about how I felt about the commitment of serving at least five years upon graduation,” said Jace Hogan, a junior business administration major with a specialization in sports business. “I would have been an officer and ultimately responsible for the lives of others, and that wasn’t something that I was comfortable doing if my heart wasn’t fully in it.”
Hogan’s heart is definitely in basketball. At the ripe young age of 7, Hogan started watching and playing basketball. While watching both NBA and NCAA games, Hogan developed a passion for the game that he still has to this day.
“Jace definitely has leadership qualities in him,” said Antwon Clayton, a senior sociology major and starting forward for the team. “He’s a great communicator. He does a great job of making sure guys are where they’re supposed to be when it comes to team events like weights, team meetings, and practices.”
Hogan didn’t start right away. Per NCAA transfer regulations, Hogan had to sit out his sophomore year at JU. But Hogan says he didn’t let that dampen his spirits or stop him from becoming the best player that he could for the team.
“Sitting last year, Jace was able to really watch the game and learn our system,” said Jasik. “It allowed him to step right in this year and impact our team. During practice that year, we were able to see glimpses of what everyone saw this year on the floor from Jace.”
Clayton says he thinks Hogan is a likeable person off the court, someone who students, staff members, and players gravitate to.
“Jace is a funny guy,” said Clayton. “He’s pretty much the clown of the team. Whenever you’re around him, you’re smiling and laughing.”
Coaches and players alike believe that Hogan is groomed to be a leader on the team moving forward. It is hoped that Hogan will help lead his team to an ASUN championship win and even a berth in the 2018-2019 NCAA tournament.
“We will definitely look to Jace for leadership on and off the floor next season,” said Jasick. “He’s a guy that has had success in his first three seasons and will be looked up to by our young guys and newcomers next season.”