Former Falcon Hood keeps NBA dream alive

FRANK SCHWAB Updated: December 19, 2011 at 12:00 am • Published: December 19, 2011

Antoine Hood was released by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, but the former Air Force guard isn’t discouraged.

Hood wants to make it in the NBA. He is 28 years old, with a new crop of players from college trying to break in every season. But Hood thinks he has improved every year and competed well with the Spurs in training camp. He was appreciative to get the chance with the Spurs, coached by Air Force graduate Gregg Popovich, and thinks it will make teams more aware of him.

“Hey, San Antonio is one team,” Hood said. “There’s still 29 other teams out there. I have a chance to sneak in the back door when injuries hit or a team needs a guard.”

Injuries could be more abundant this season because of shortened training camps and a condensed schedule due to the lockout. Hood hopes his versatility, size and willingness to hustle and play defense give him an opportunity to latch on with a team, maybe even San Antonio, which had no room for Hood because of its depth at guard going into the season.

Hood was ready when San Antonio signed him on Dec. 10, right before its camp started. He lives in North Carolina and was working out with Wake Forest’s team - coached by former Falcons coach Jeff Bzdelik – for about three months. He got the chance to work out with new Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, who played at Wake Forest, during the lockout.

Hood said those workouts and his stint with the Spurs gave him more confidence that his chance is coming. He will consider playing in the NBA Development League.

“You never give up hope,” said Hood, who played in one preseason game for San Antonio. “If you don’t believe and give up, you’ll never be anything in life. My faith in this journey has never wavered.”

Contact Frank Schwab: 476-4891

Twitter @GazetteAirForce

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