Throwback Thursday: Celebrating Wendell Hudson

J. Bank

Alabama basketball star Wendell Hudson, the first African American scholarship athlete in school history, will be honored Friday at the Bryant Conference Center, and then during Saturday's game against LSU at Coleman Coliseum.  

He'll be the first person in Alabama athletics history to have his jersey retired. 

The No. 20 will remain in circulation to honor Hudson and his legacy, but it will also hang from the rafters at Coleman Coliseum, where he became one of the most decorated athletes in Crimson Tide history.

Alabama athletes will wear a WH patch for the remainder of the academic year, and a men’s basketball scholarship has been endowed by a donor in his name.

Hudson was offered, and signed, a scholarship in 1969 by basketball coach C.M. Newton. He became one of the most celebrated and honored players in Alabama history.

Hudson's freshman season helped Bama to a 15-9 freshman team record.  He had 10 games with 20 or more points including a 32-point performance against Georgia.

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Hudson's 1972 season was good enough to earn him All-SEC first team honors.

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His senior season saw Wendell selected to the All-SEC first team and became the first Alabama basketball player to be named the conference's Player of the Year after averaging 20.7 points and 12.1 rebounds.

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Hudson left the Alabama basketball program with honors and records in addition to opening the door to hundreds of African-American athletes.

For his career, he recorded 1,768 points and 1,197 rebounds across his 93 games played for an average of 19.0 points and 12.9 rebound

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