Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Book by Tide's first black hoops player would be a must-read
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Feb 25, 2014 | 2499 views |  0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Alabama basketball player Wendell Hudson says he plans to write a book, and it undoubtedly would make a great read. His former coach with the Crimson Tide, C.M. Newton, touted it in an appearance Tuesday at the Birmingham Tip-off Club.

Plenty of folks recall that Vivian Malone and James Hood integrated the University of Alabama by enrolling in 1963. Hudson integrated the school's basketball squad. A star athlete out of Parker High School in Birmingham, he accepted a basketball scholarship to Alabama in 1969.

He played four seasons and was the SEC player of the year as a senior, as he led the league in scoring with 20.7 points a game.

He was part of plenty of change athletically in our state. When the Alabama High School Athletic Association integrated in the fall of 1968, the first state basketball tournament after that in 1969 featured Parker vs. Carver-Birmingham in the finals. Both were black high schools. Hudson played for Parker.

Hudson was at Alabama when the football team signed its first black player, Wilbur Jackson, in 1970. He was there when Alabama signed John Mitchell out of junior college in 1971. Mitchell was the first black player to play a down for Alabama in a football game.

Hudson was an assistant coach under Newton at Alabama during 1974-79, helping the Crimson Tide dominate in basketball, something it rarely did before Newton and Hudson arrived in Tuscaloosa.

Hudson, now a special assistant to Alabama's athletics director, became Alabama's first black women's basketball coach in 2008. A year later, he saw the school hire its first black men's basketball coach, Anthony Grant.

Hudson would have plenty of ground to cover in a book, and all of it would be worth reading.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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