Two senior leaders of GVSU basketball reflect on collegiate careers ahead of senior night


Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

It’s getting bittersweet for the seniors on the Grand Valley State men’s basketball team, as the closer we get to March, the closer the season is to being over. Even though the Lakers are second in the GLIAC and are primed for a deep playoff run, seniors Jayden Hodgson and Ben Lubitz are taking everything in, knowing that the days of their college basketball are numbered.

Hodgson and Lubitz took very different paths coming to GVSU, and will ultimately take different paths once they take off the Laker blue for the last time.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s the end,” Hodgson said. “But it’s gone by quickly. I can’t say it’s weird, but it feels right if anything.”

Hodgson, a starting guard who has played a huge role for this team as a point guard when fellow senior Jeremiah Ferguson missed part of the season with a lower leg injury, hopes to continue playing basketball in his home country of Austrailia, where he is interested in returning to the same league he was in when he was a teen.

“When (this season) is over, I want to go home and start playing back home,” Hodgson said. “I’ll play in the equivalent of our G-League back home once the season’s done and try to crack the NBL back at home.”

While Hodgson cited his favorite collegiate basketball memories, he said that nothing has topped the various conference titles he helped win at Bradley, but he hopes to earn similar titles and share some big moments with his teammates at GVSU over the next few weeks.

Speaking of big moments, Lubitz will never forget when head coach Ric Wesley surprised him at the end of practice by letting him know that he had gotten into nursing school in front of all his teammates. Rightfully so, his reaction to hearing the news went viral.

Despite this viral moment, Lubitz cited his favorite memory at GVSU was being apart of the 2019-20 and winning the GLIAC tournament. He’ll never forget the moment he saw Ferguson’s buzzer beater go in.

“It’s gotta be last year winning the GLIAC tournament and being able to lift up that trophy at the end,” Lubitz said. “It was more than that, though. It was how it all happened , we were struggling towards the middle of the season and had a lot of issues until we came together and went on a winning streak.”

The Mio, Mich., native has played all four years at GVSU and is a career marksmen, making 42 percent of his three point shots for the Lakers.

Lubitz is finishing up his bachelor’s degree this semester, and will be starting his nursing classes in the summer before becoming a registered nurse in the spring of 2021.

He’s come a long way since being the only one with his light on long road trips, studing medical terminology in the middle of a crowded bus filled with sweaty college athletes.

To have his basketball career be ending in the next couple weeks feels surreal for Lubitz.

“It’s crazy looking back on these four years, it feels like I was a freshman yesterday,” Lubitz said. “Coming in, moving into Laker Village, starting all my classes and to think that all that stuff is coming to an end is a surreal feeling.”

Hodgson, Lubitz and Ferguson, who was unavailable for comment, will be honored at Senior Night on Thursday, Feb. 27, before taking on the Davenport Panthers at 8 p.m.