Former Skyhawk star pays visit to Martin
Stephanie Sturgis - Weakley County Press Sports Editor
Former Skyhawk basketball star and current Memphis Grizzlies player Lester Hudson returned from his hometown of Memphis to his home away from home — Martin.
“(Martin) holds a great spot in my heart because it’s where I started my career at. I want to come back and give back any time I have time to,” the NBA rookie said.
“It means a lot to me because it’s my first banner. Like I said, we worked so hard as a team, as a unit. One goal. We played smart. We played hard, played together,” the 2008-09 OVC Male Athlete of the Year said of seeing the championship flag in the rafters.
Hudson, the only UT Martin player ever drafted into the NBA, was waived by the team that selected him, the Boston Celtics, on Jan. 6 only to be picked up by his hometown squad, the Grizzlies, a few days later.
“I was a little down, a little down, but I’m blessed to be with the Grizzlies. I prayed and everything, so I think it’s the best situation for me to launch my career,” Hudson said of being waived and his subsequent NBA relocation.
“It’s a great opportunity to play in my hometown. A lot of guys don’t do that, and I know a lot of guys would love to do that. I get to see my family more, and my fans can come see me,” Hudson noted.
The trip to Martin, where he signed autographs and got a big ovation from Skyhawk fans, must have re-energized the NBA rookie.
The following night, Friday, he set new career highs for points (9) and rebounds (4) in Memphis’ win over San Antonio.
The Grizzlies are a rising team in the league, with one of the NBA’s best records since Dec. 1. Hudson is eager to fill any role with the Grizzlies.
“I’ll fit in wherever coach wants me to fit in. It don’t matter. I’ll play whatever position. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do it.”