Wendell Hudson’s jersey becomes the first in Alabama Athletics’ history to be retired

Wendell Hudson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama athletics honored former basketball player Wendell Hudson by retiring his jersey.

Wendell Hudson came to the Alabama campus 50 years ago as its first African American scholarship athlete, helping to open doors for generations to come.

The school will honored Hudson Saturday, February 15 with a halftime recognition and jersey retirement during the men’s basketball game versus LSU.

UA will retire Wendell Hudson's jersey
UA will retire Wendell Hudson's jersey (Source: Alabama Athletics)

While the number 20 will remain in circulation, Hudson’s jersey will become the first in Alabama Athletics’ history to be retired.

In addition to the jersey retirement, a men’s basketball scholarship has been endowed by a generous donor in Hudson’s honor. Student-athlete uniforms will also be adorned by a WH patch for the remainder of the winter and spring sport seasons.

Not only a trailblazer off the court, Hudson, too, made his mark on the court and remains one of the most decorated student-athletes in Crimson Tide men’s basketball history. He was recruited by the late C.M. Newton after a stellar prep career at Parker High School in Birmingham and went on to become a member of the freshman team at Alabama during the 1969-70 season before joining the varsity ranks for the next three years.

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

In 1973, Hudson became Alabama’s first Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, leading the league in scoring.

UA will retire Wendell Hudson's jersey
UA will retire Wendell Hudson's jersey (Source: Alabama Athletics)

Hudson was selected in the second round of the 1973 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls and also played for the ABA’s Memphis Tams. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and was honored as an SEC Legend in 2000. Hudson was also recognized in 2000 by The University of Alabama with its Paul W. Bryant Alumni-Athlete Award, which recognizes former athletes whose accomplishments since leaving UA are outstanding.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.