Varsity Basketball standout Chris Hudson ’16 signed a letter of intent to attend Bentley University this fall. Hudson is the second Wildcat to sign for the Falcons this year, as teammate Sam Geschickter ’16 put pen to paper for Coach Jay Lawson’s squad earlier this winter.
Hudson played a major part in Varsity Basketball’s success over the past two seasons, which saw the Wildcats win two consecutive New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A Championships. The Maine native captained this year’s championship team and was named to the NEPSAC Class A All-Star Second Team.
“He has had a ball in his hand for as long as I can remember,” said Robin Hudson, Chris’ mother. “He developed a passion for basketball by playing in the driveway with his older brother, Josh. They would play for hours.”
Hudson started playing on organized teams in the fourth grade, where he participated in YMCA programs, the local Police Athletic League, and several travel teams in the Bangor area. “I remember the huge smile he had when he made his first basket in the youth league,” Robin Hudson recalled. “After that, he spent a lot of time shooting hoops in the driveway with his brother. He took every opportunity to play.”
Hudson has had many great moments throughout his youth career, but he decided to commit himself fully to basketball during his freshman year of high school, when he realized that he wanted to develop himself for the college game.
However, Hudson quickly learned that an opportunity to play college basketball would not be easy for him to achieve. His roommate, teammate, and best friend Jake Wisniewski ’16 recalled Hudson’s difficult beginning to the recruiting process. Wisniewski said, “He came from a small town in Maine and was far from earning a college scholarship when he got here because it is tough to get your name out there. He started from nothing and worked his way up.”
Despite coming from a rural area not known for basketball, Hudson’s determination and hard work made up for his anonymity. Wisniewski continued, “But if I had one word to describe Chris it would be, ‘tough!’ His goal was to get a scholarship and that is why he came to Williston. There were periods of doubt when he wasn’t sure if he was going to get a scholarship, but he kept working through it and kept positive. He worked harder than anyone else in the weight room and on the court to achieve his goals. He completely deserves it.”
Hudson recalled the moment when he finally called Bentley’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Jay Lawson. “I felt a lot of relief,” Hudson stated. “It had been a long road that led me to Bentley. I was blessed with fantastic opportunities, and I was able to make the most of them.”
Wisniewski was in their dorm room when Hudson picked up the phone to call Bentley. He said, “It was a very special moment when he called their coach and told him he was committing to their school. I have gotten to know Chris very well over the past two years, and it was very special to have that moment with him.”
In a few weeks, Hudson will leave Easthampton with an appreciation for Williston. He said he is grateful for the opportunity to compete for the Wildcats and to develop himself as a student-athlete.
Robin Hudson said of her son’s development over the past two years, “Chris has become more confident, self-sufficient, and independent during his time at Williston. He was challenged more in the classroom than he would have been in the public school system, and his improvement in athletics is a direct result of the higher caliber of preparation and competition. It challenged him to reach a higher level of ability.”
As a result of his Williston experience, Hudson said he feels ready to achieve at the next level of his academic and athletic career. He praised his coach, Mike Shelton, for helping him achieve his goals. He said, “Williston has prepared me a tremendous amount for Bentley. Coach Shelton pushed me and always demanded excellence, and I have been able to develop significantly during my time here. I could not possibly thank him enough for all that he has done for me. I definitely would not be where I am today without him.”
“The road is not done yet,” Hudson said. “I would like to win another championship for Bentley before I hang up my jersey.” Soon he will become a member of a very successful college program, and his work ethic and optimism should serve him well as he looks to add to Bentley’s storied basketball tradition.
Over the last 25 years, Coach Jay Lawson has transformed Bentley University’s men’s basketball into a highly competitive program. A seven-time champion of the Northeast-10 Conference, and a nine-time NCAA Division II tournament participant, Bentley has established itself as one of the most decorated programs in the Northeast. The Falcons have reached the Final Four on two occasions, in the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 seasons.
Congratulations, Chris, on achieving your goals! We are all very proud of you!