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By Loren Kopff
The John Glenn High community, especially its girls basketball program, is mourning the sudden loss of former star Champign Hood, who passed away Fri. Nov. 6 around 4:00 p.m. Hood was 26 years old.
Hood had pneumonia and was admitted to College Medical Center in Long Beach on Nov. 4 where a blood clot was found in her heart. The blood clot moved to her lungs and she was struggling for oxygen even while she was on several medical devices.
Hood, a 2007 graduate, was on the Glenn varsity team for two seasons. As a junior, she averaged 11.3 points per game, which was second behind her twin sister, Brandi. Champign Hood scored 31 points against Whittier Christian on Dec. 30, 2005 in a Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary Cardinal Classic game and scored in double figures 17 times out of the 27 games she played that season.
The next season, Champign Hood led the team with 468 points and averaged 16.7 ppg. as she helped the Lady Eagles win the Suburban League. She scored a career-high 33 points in a home win against Cerritos on Feb. 9, 2007 that decided the league title. Glenn went 23-5 overall, 10-2 in league that season. In addition, Champign Hood scored at least 20 points eight times and at least another 10 points in 15 other games as a senior. She was held to single digits the other five times.
“Champ was one of the strongest people I knew, with the biggest heart around,” Brandi Hood said. “She always had an ear to listen, a smile to warm your heart and a joke to ease your soul with laughter. There are very few who can match that fervor of life and love for others.”
Champign Hood played at Rio Hondo Community College for two seasons, scoring 385 points and pulling down 260 rebounds. She transferred to Hope International University where, as a junior, was second on the team with 333 points, an average of 10.4 ppg. and grabbed 157 rebounds, good for third on the squad.
As a senior, Champign Hood started all 30 games for the Royals and scored a team-high 478 points, averaging 15.9 ppg. while also leading the team with 290 rebounds. She was named to the 2010-2011 Women’s Basketball All-Golden State Athletic Conference team. Her scoring and rebound averages were second in the GSAC that season as were her 14 double-doubles.
“Champign will always be remembered and loved,” said former Glenn head coach and current co-athletic director Linda Parra. While she was an outstanding basketball player, she was an even better individual. She had a genuine heart and was full of kindness. She loved to make people laugh and it was hard not to smile when she was around. I know our basketball family is at a great loss with Champign leaving us so early. She will be greatly missed but always remembered.”
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