In the initial years of Iowa State women’s basketball program, Pat Hodgson was one of its first true stars. The Glenwood, Iowa, native averaged double figures in all four seasons (1974-78), was ISU’s first 1,000-point scorer and was the first ISU female athlete to play professionally.
She didn’t start her freshman season (1974-75), adjusting to the unfamiliar 5-on-5 format used in college. Hodgson, at 5-10, averaged 49.0 ppg at Glenwood High School while playing Iowa’s high school 6-on-6 girls rules. Despite not starting, she came off the bench to lead the team in scoring at 12.4 points a game.
In Hodgson’s sophomore season, she led the team to a then school-record 20 wins while averaging a career-high 14.1 ppg. Hodgson averaged 12.1 ppg and 7.8 rpg during her senior season, allowing her to become the first woman to break the 1,000-point barrier (1,284) and ISU’s all-time leading scorer. She also set the record for points in a season with 339 during her final campaign. At the time of graduation, Hodgson also held ISU records for career field goals (491), free throws (293) and rebounds (813).
Hodgson was a commercial artist for the Meredith Publishing Company in Des Moines after graduating from Iowa State. However, she still had the competitive urge. And when the new Women’s Professional Basketball League was formed in 1979, she took advantage of the unique opportunity. She was drafted by the Iowa Cornets in the ninth round to become Iowa State’s first women’s professional basketball player. During her rookie season in the WPBL, Hodgson averaged 11.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg, helping the Cornets finish second in the league.
Hodgson also excelled in track and field while at Iowa State. She was the Big Eight champion high jumper in 1975 and 1976 and also won Big Eight titles in the 440-meter hurdles and the mile relay in 1975. At the AIAW championship in 1975, Hodgson earned All-America honors by placing sixth in the high jump and third in the mile relay.