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Brandon’s Story: The ultimate rebound

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Brandon Hoggans

At the age of 18, Brandon Hoggans was sent to prison. At the age of 27, he is making sure he never goes back.

Hoggans, who went to Roosevelt High School, spent more than seven years incarcerated for robbery after his conviction nine years ago. He admits he hung with the wrong crowd. However, the experience of being locked up woke him up and made him vow that he wouldn’t turn into a career offender like his cell mates.

Since being released, he has been good on his word.

You’ll find Brandon now either studying to be a nutritionist at the Cascade Campus or grabbing rebounds for the PCC men’s basketball team. Once he gets his transfer degree, he plans to go on to Oregon State University for his bachelor’s degree. Following that up with a master’s degree isn’t out of the question.

"I’ve made some poor choices in life," Hoggans said. "But this term I have a 3.5 GPA. I do like the atmosphere at Cascade. There is no reason why anyone shouldn’t succeed. Everybody, staff and students, are nice and very helpful."

He also credits his family and his inner strength.

"I have strong support from my family," he said. "My will and determination to be a success and stay grounded is why I’m here today. I always stay positive."

He chose the area of nutrition because some of his family members suffer from diabetes and he wants to help educate the community about the value of a good diet. He says it’s a disease that affects African-Americans at a higher rate than most.

Today, Hoggans is the co-team captain of the PCC Panthers and does his intimidating on the basketball court. Even though he never has played organized basketball before joining the team, he felt he could contribute defense and rebounding as well as provide leadership.

"My job is to be an inspiration to the team and help maximize their potential," he said.

PCC’s basketball teams are composed of students throughout the district, with both teams now based at the brand new PE Facility on the Cascade Campus. The new facility offers amenities and an innovative style that will entertain this year and well into the future.

Last year, the PCC men’s basketball team tied the school record for the second most wins in the program’s history with 14 victories. The school record is 15 wins in a season. At one point, PCC was ranked 12th in their conference, its highest known ranking ever. For a look at this year’s schedule, take a look at the Panther’s Web site.

Many people would be bitter after a stay in prison, but Hoggans isn’t. Besides his big smile and positive demeanor, he is reflective about his incarceration.

"It was the best thing that ever happened to me," he said. "It got me away from the life. I just had to see all of the other inmates around me and there were the worst of the worst in there, killers and rapists. I decided pretty quickly that that wasn’t what I wanted my life to be about. I didn’t want to come out and be that stereotypical ex-convict."

To keep up with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, visit the Panther’s web site.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »