Hudson named OVC Athlete of the Year
Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009 11:10 am
Lester Hudson, The University of Tennessee at Martin senior guard on the men’s basketball team, has been selected as the Ohio Valley Conference’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2008-09 in voting by the league’s athletics directors and sports information directors.
Hudson, an All-American for the second straight season after finishing second nationally in scoring, was selected as the OVC Male Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, while Murray State University guard Ashley Hayes, a two-time OVC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, was named OVC Female Athlete of the Year.
The two winners will receive their awards at the League’s annual Honors Luncheon Friday in Nashville.
With the award Hudson becomes only the fourth back-to-back male winner of the honor and first since Austin Peay’s Bubba Wells did so in 1995-96/1996-97. After putting together unbelievable individual numbers a season ago, Hudson took it to another level in 2008-09, lifting his team to new heights.
With Hudson in the backcourt, UTM compiled a 14-4 league record and won its first regular season championship since joining the OVC in 1992-93. UT Martin advanced to the OVC Tournament semifinals for the second straight season, falling to eventual champion Morehead State despite 34 points from Hudson. The team did earn a berth in the National Invitational Tournament, the first postseason berth at the Division I level for the program.
Hudson, who was tabbed Preseason Player of the Year entering the season, repeated as Player of the Year afterward, becoming the first OVC player in 13 years to do so. The native of Memphis led the OVC in scoring (27.5), steals (2.3) and free throw percentage (88.1 percent).
In fact, he ranked second nationally in scoring, a mark that trailed only Davidson’s Stephen Curry. Hudson also averaged 7.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists a contest. He was the only Division I player nationally to average 5-plus points, 4-plus rebounds, 4-plus assists and 2-plus steals per game. During the season, Hudson was named OVC Player of the Week a record seven times; in just two seasons he earned that honor 11 times, also an OVC record.
An honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press for the second year, Hudson was one of 16 total All-Americans at the Division I level by CollegeInsider.com.
Hudson is currently working out for NBA teams prior to the June 25 NBA Draft.
UT Martin senior tennis player Sara Leavy was also named a nominee for OVC Female Athlete of the Year.