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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo
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Senior Spotlight: Gavin Yoon and Caleb Hodgson discuss Taylor’s impact over their collegiate basketball careers

Seniors discuss their collegiate careers

Taylor University is known for changing the lives of everyone who is called to the school. 

This applies even more so to the athletes attending Taylor. The experiences, relationships and lessons learned over the journey of being a collegiate athlete are profound anywhere a student-athlete attends. However, as men’s basketball seniors Gavin Yoon and Caleb Hodgson can attest, the Taylor community and intentional focus on Christ add a unique aspect to the college experience.

Going 11-18 with an early postseason exit is not the ideal end to a playing career, but Yoon showed nothing but grace and gratitude for his opportunity at Taylor.

“I grew immensely in my faith during my time here,” Yoon said, “The ups and downs of basketball here grew me into the man I am today.”

Yoon has a collegiate career to be proud of. He ended his career with 83 games played and 527 points while shooting almost 40 percent from three-point range.

However, when asked about his accomplishments, he immediately took a team perspective and looked at the massive upset Taylor pulled on IWU in the 2023 Crossroads League Tournament.

“Definitely beating IWU in the conference tournament after not beating them for 9 years or so (was a highlight),” Yoon said, “It was an amazing experience with the guys, just how hard we worked and the level in which we played that game.”

Hodgson also had a unique experience, not only in regards to basketball, but also to being a Taylor student.

As a transfer senior from Central Michigan University, Hodgson immediately instilled himself into the basketball team and the Taylor community.

“Even though I am a grad student, it felt like being a freshman again getting acclimated to a new place and new people,” Hodgson said, “This led me to, as my old mentor would say- ‘take steps of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.’”

“I had to get out of my comfort zone I had at CMU to make new friends and connections and be intentional with my faith. Whether it has been through chapel, my ministry classes, spiritual conversations with my coaches and teammates or with FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) on campus, God has used this time to build me up in my faith as I prepare for a lifelong career in ministry after graduation.”

Playing in 26 games, starting 18 and scoring 242 points this season, Hodgson immediately established himself as a leader on the team. His goals for both himself and the team reflect that position as well as his confidence in the players around him.

In addition to the team goals of winning the Crossroads League and making the NAIA National Tournament, Hodgson also wants to put everything he has into his fifth and final season of collegiate basketball.

“My goal for basketball this offseason is to help support the guys and encourage unity in this coaching change which has been hard on all of us,” Hodgson said, “Personally, I want to play next year with nothing to lose and have no regrets using the gifts and abilities God gave me.”

With one senior leader moving on to his next chapter of life and a new coach coming into the program, many eyes will look to Hodgson for how to react to this season and prepare in and lead for the next.