CMU’s Hudson builds on family basketball legacy

NCAA Hoops

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WOOD) — Wayland native Presley Hudson has rewritten the women’s basketball record book at Central Michigan.

“If you want to stop Central Michigan,” CMU head coach Sue Guevara said, “you stop Presley Hudson.”

“She was a culture changer,” Guevara continued, “in the fact of how hard she worked and how that kind of permeated throughout the rest of the team.”

Hudson was already the women’s all-time leader in points scored before she passed Melvin “Sugar” McLaughlin on Saturday for the all-time scoring record among both men and women. She is also the women’s all-time leader in assists and three-pointers, setting a MAC record for the latter.

On Monday, she was named one of 10 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the player who best exemplifies “floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills.” Hudson was the only nominee from a mid-major university.

“She’s just a unique person and an incredible player,” teammate Kyra Bussell said. “It’s just been an honor playing with her.”

“She’s a great role model,” teammate Maddy Watters added. “I look up to her and I really respect all the work that she puts in.”

Hudson will go down as arguably the greatest player in the 51-year history of the CMU women’s program.

“She’s going to leave here with records. She is going to go into the Hall of Fame,” Guevara said.

Along the way, the softspoken superstar anchored the only 30-win season in school history last season and what will be the winningest four-year run at CMU ever.

“My coaches, they’ve helped me develop throughout my years here and my teammates have also done that,” Hudson said. “I’ve just kind of made sure that I’ve stayed in the gym and worked on my game every year, every day and every hour that I can.”

The daughter of a West Michigan high school coach, Hudson has been around basketball as long as she can remember.

“She always went to the gym with dad and then just started picking the ball up,” her father Mike Hudson said. “(She was) probably playing with boys and against boys at the second- and third-grade level.”

Mike Hudson has been a coach for 34 years, the last 26 at Wayland. His father Harry Hudson spent 23 years coaching at Rogers High School in Wyoming from the early 1960s to the mid-80s.

“I’ve always though it when I was younger. Like eighth grade, was like, OK, I really want to play Division I basketball and then kind of go from there,” Presley Hudson said.

She wasn’t the only Hudson kid with basketball dreams. Her older brother Wes started at Wayland, then was an NAIA All-American at Cornerstone University and is now head coach of the Wayland girls varsity team.

“Coaching, that’s something just always being on the sidelines with dad,” Wes Hudson said. “It’s always been something I wanted to do. I wanted to play basketball at the highest level I could and then coach.”

Brother Avery Hudson is a 20-year-old sophomore star at Davenport University.

“We’ve learned so much about it,” Avery Hudson said. “We’ve gone to my dad’s games when we were younger. Obviously we grew up around it.”

He said he would also like to coach after he’s done playing.

The youngest Hudson brother Turner plays for his father on the Wayland boys’ varsity team, and younger sister Parrish plays for her eldest brother on the girls team.

“I guess dad started that a long time ago at Rogers High School,” Mike Hudson said. “So it’s kind of probably in the blood.”

When Presley Hudson is done playing, she too would like to follow in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, albeit at a different level.

“I would like to be a college coach,” she said.

But before that?

“My goal is to be able to play professionally,” she said. “And if you’re going to play professionally, putting in minimal hours isn’t going to get you there, so hard work and work ethic is going to get you there. So I just have to be able to maximize my skills and get better.”

After watching her star in college, few doubt her.

“The one thing I think everybody missed was her work ethic,” Wes Hudson said. “She puts in so much time, before practice, after practice. When she’s told to take a break, she goes to the gym.”

“You don’t just become this great player,” Guevara added. “You have to put the work in.”

“Her work ethic is just unreal,” Avery Hudson said. “If she wants to be good at something, she sticks to it and she works at it a lot.”

For now, Presley Hudson is focused on her final college season. She is hoping to provide an encore performance after leading the Chippewas to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time ever last season.

“It was an amazing experience,” she recalled. “Just one of the kind that you’ll remember when you get older and be able to look back on. And now we get a chance to be able to do it again as team 51.”

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