ETSU junior, Jeromy Rodriguez has had a tremendous 2018-19 campaign so far this basketball season, and it’s something he attributes to his work both on and off the court.
Rodriguez currently averages a double-double with 11.6 points per game and 12.0 rebounds game. He has put these numbers up on an astounding 57.6 field goal percentage, all while leading the Bucs to a 17-5 overall record.
The achievements Rodriguez has achieved on the court began before his ETSU career, off the court.
“Coming out of [junior college,] ETSU was expecting big things from me, so it was a new challenge that I had to face,” Rodriguez said. “Right after I got done playing in [junior college,] I took a week off, then all I did was put in work, because I know I was about to face one of the biggest challenges of my life.”
However, his success has not been without hurdles as he experienced a season-ending shoulder injury during the 2017-18 season.
“Two months after I came to ETSU, I was playing pick-up with my teammates, went for a steal and my shoulder came out of place,” Rodriguez said. “I kept rehabbing to make my shoulder stronger, but it got worse, so I decided to sit out and play the next season.”
Rodriguez’s impressive achievements this season stem from not only his overcoming of challenges here at ETSU, but also from back home in the Dominican Republic.
“Growing up in the Dominican Republic was really hard, but at the same time it was fun because we tried to make the best out of everything,” Rodriguez said. “We are warriors. We find a way to make things work.”
Rodriguez eventually left the Dominican Republic and attended Pope John XXIII Regional High School in New Jersey, where he moved in with a host family during his stay there.
“They didn’t know any Spanish, and I didn’t know any English, so it was really tough because I couldn’t really have a conversation with them,” Rodriguez said. “My host family was great, as they really treated me like their own son, which is something I’ll always be grateful for.”
After finishing high school in New Jersey, Rodriguez attended Northwest Florida State College, where he went on to play two standout seasons for the Raiders. That success led him to Johnson City and a spot on ETSU’s men’s basketball team. Rodriguez believes that he made a great decision, as ETSU has had a tremendous impact on his life the last two years.
“What I do like about ETSU is the support given by everybody,” Rodriguez said. “They will do their best to help you succeed.”