Justus: Kentucky a place where you get better and play around great players
Former Kentucky player Rodrick Rhodes, who led Cordia High School to an All “A” title in 2016 but was let go amid scrutiny of his program, has returned to the head coaching ranks at Division II Concordia University-Portland.
Rhodes takes over the Cavaliers’ program after two seasons as an assistant at Great Northwest Athletic Conference-rival Northwest Nazarene. Concordia was 11-17 overall and 6-14 in conference last season.
“I would like to thank the Concordia University administration and Athletic Director Lauren Eads for this opportunity,” Rhodes said, according to a news release by the school. “I am grateful to be part of the Concordia University family. The athletic department’s energy and vision for the future are exciting, and I look forward to helping realize that vision. I aim to build up young men of character into productive student athletes and contributing members of society. I am excited to positively impact the Concordia University community, Concordia men’s basketball program, and the city of Portland.”
Rhodes coached Cordia, a small public school in Lott Creek, from 2011 to 2016 and turned it from a 14th Region doormat into a program that could compete with some of the state’s best teams. But in-state and out-of-state transfers into the program drew scrutiny from the Kentucky High School Athletics Association and ire from neighboring communities. Cordia was sanctioned and given a two-year postseason ban beginning in 2014. Rhodes’ contract was not renewed after the 2015-16 season.
The trials and triumphs of Rhodes’ time in Cordia were chronicled in an Uproxx.com documentary series “Us Against the World,” where he detailed some of the tensions he faced with local and state administrators and rival fans.
Rhodes was a standout at the University of Kentucky under Rick Pitino for three years (1992-95) before transferring to the University of Southern California for his senior year. He was selected as the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 1997 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets and played for three teams in three seasons before pursuing a career in coaching.