GC's Dodd signs letter of intent to UNCW

GC's Dodd signs letter of intent to UNCW

Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd, seated center, will be heading to UNC-Wilmington next season after signing his letter of commitment Friday. Sitting next to Dodd is his mother, Tonechia Dodd, right, and grandmother, Lillie Dodd, with the family members standing, from left, grandmother Carolyn Battle, sister Dallasya Johnson, grandfather Willie Battle and aunt Rosa Dodd. The picture on the table is of Imajae Dodd’s father, Dallas Suggs, who passed away in 2013. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

SNOW HILL — Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd will be flying high next season.

Dodd signed his national letter of intent Friday to attend UNC-Wilmington, looking to bring the success of his high school career to the Seahawks at the next level. Heading into Dodd’s senior season, which starts Tuesday at home against Eastern Wayne, the Rams are 68-19 over the past three seasons, including a state championship appearance last year.

“I want to thank everybody who came out and supported me,” Dodd said. “I’m ready to get out there and start playing.”

Dodd is undecided about a major, but plans to choose between business and sports management. Dodd also said he went with UNCW over numerous Division I offers because he loved the environment.

“Coach (C.B. McGrath) and I have a very good relationship and when I went out there on my official visit, it felt like a family atmosphere,” Dodd said.

Tonechia Dodd, Imajae’s mother, said she was proud of her son and thankful for the Greene Central fan base throughout his career.

“It’s a blessing to see him grow as a player and a person,” Dodd said. “The community has really embraced him and we’ve appreciated the love and support. For him to get a DI scholarship, it means as long as he applies himself, he’ll have the opportunity to get a free education, which takes a burden off of me as a single parent.

“I have to thank God for this.”

Dodd brought a picture of his father, Dallas Suggs, who died in 2013. Dodd said the memory of his father is a vital part of his drive.

“He’s been the big inspiration to why I play the game (and) why I wake up every day, go to practice and work out,” Dodd said. “(He told me) don’t give up, whether it’s basketball or school.”

Greene Central basketball coach Blue Edwards is in his first year with the team, but said he’s seen a lot of positive traits in Dodd which will carry over well this season.

“What I’ve seen from him is a great work ethic,” Edwards said. “He’s a competitor and someone who wants to get better in all facets of the game. He’s been a leader by example and he’s learning how to be more vocal.”

Charles Harris, who coached at Greene Central from 2014-18, said Dodd’s tremendous efforts garnered great success.

“He’s earned everything he’s worked for,” Harris said. “This started back when we saw him as an eighth-grader and I couldn’t be more proud of him. We were texting (Thursday) and he was telling me ‘thank you Coach’ and I was telling him ‘thanks for being such a great kid.’

“He’s never taken a step backwards, he’s gotten better in the gym every day and he’s the reason why he’s playing Division I college basketball.”

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