A 1,000-point club member, Hudson signs with PRCC

By CAMAL PETRO,

PURVIS – Senior Kennedy Hudson joined rare company earlier this season by eclipsing the 1,000-point club in her Lady Tornadoes career, but her final five points were a little tougher to get than the first 995.

“(Joining the 1,000-point club) showed that the hard work over the past three years had paid off,” Hudson said.

Hudson signed to play basketball at Pearl River Community College Thursday morning despite only playing minimally this season because of an injury she suffered in the first game on Nov. 7. In fact, it was in the second quarter of that season opener when she tore her ACL.

“It’s difficult when you take a player of caliber out of the lineup,” Purvis coach Michael Thornton said. “She’s been an all-division player her sophomore and junior years, so we’ve had to overcome a lot this year.”

Hudson entered the season needing 11 points to get to 1,000, and it was believed she would hit the mark in the season opener against Lumberton, because she scored less than 11 points in only three games as a junior. Hudson scored six points before suffering the injury leaving her five points shy for the milestone.

After a few weeks of talking things over with her doctors and beginning rehab, she was able to put on a functional brace for a Monday night game in early December against Our Lady Academy. She scored three points that night while reaggravating her injury.

After a few days of practice, she was ready to get the last two points that Friday against Richton. Luckily, she scored the two quickly.

“That’s a big achievement,” Thornton said. “That was one of her individual goals. After she got hurt, she was at 995 points and we were able to play her briefly against OLA and then right before her scheduled surgery, we put her in against Richton and she was able to score immediately.”

Hudson is hoping to be cleared at the end of May so she can start participating with her new team as early as possible.

“Just in time to be able to do summer workouts and practice with the team,” she said.

Hudson’s decision to play at PRCC was an easy one. She wanted the family feel like Purvis has and PRCC had that same atmosphere. PRCC women’s coach Scotty Fletcher was in attendance that Tuesday night when Hudson went down with the injury, too.

“He told me he didn’t want (the injury) to affect anything,” Hudson recalled. “He wanted me to still come play for him.”

During her four years with the program, Hudson averaged 12 points per game, which includes 18.4 points per game as a junior to help earn her a spot on the PineBeltSPORTS All-Area team. She also averaged six rebounds and nearly three steals a game last season.

“I’m hoping I left a really good impact that’s helping turn this program around,” Hudson said of her time at Purvis. “It’s definitely made me tougher than I was before.”

Currently, the Lady Tornadoes are 12-8 overall with a 3-2 region record, and Hudson is doing everything she can from the bench to help her teammates.

“I’m been trying to be a motivator and a leader on the bench like I was on court,” she said.

When asked if this new role has made her think about a career in coaching, she replied with a laugh. “Definitely not,” she said.