By Erik Harris
CLAY — It didn’t matter if she was stuck at the house on a rainy day or taking a quick drive with her dad Carlos to the local Boys & Girls Club, current Clay-Chalkville guard Kristian Hudson was committed to sharpening her craft as a basketball player, even at a young age.
There weren’t many 8-year-old girls walking around Clay with an understanding of fundamental ball handling back in 2005, but Hudson was the exception.
She didn’t have high-handed parents forcing her into every shooting camp in the state. No one pushed the inflated ball into her life. Hudson was naturally drawn to the hardwood from the start.
Carlos and Hudson’s mother Juanita Chamblin noticed their daughter’s interest in the sport and took action.
“We asked her over and over again and she was consistent with her answers: ‘I want to play basketball, I don’t want to do anything else,’” Carlos said. “We knew then that she was sincere about playing.”
That sincerity has since been seen by countless defenders in the Birmingham metro area and beyond. Hudson, now a senior leader of the Class 6A second-ranked Lady Cougars, has shattered the scoring records at Clay-Chalkville in her four years as a varsity player.
Hudson’s ability to score might surprise some people, but for Carlos and Chamblin, it’s been a long time coming and the result is expected.
“The expectation she set for herself is high and we have the same standards so what we’ve done in the past is invested in her desire to play and (with that investment) we expect that type of outcome,” Carlos said moments after his daughter scored her 2,000th career point Dec. 29 in Bryant Bank Arena.
Hudson became the first Lady Cougar to reach 1,000 career points in 2012 as a sophomore.
Since her days of dribbling the ball around her parents’ garage as a kid, Hudson grew her game into that of a high school varsity starter and current Class 6A standout.
“When I was younger I would get upset quicker, frustrated quicker and now I realize if there’s still time on the clock, there’s still an opportunity to help my team win (and) do bigger and greater things,” Hudson said.
The senior plans on taking her game to the next level once her high school days are over. According to Hudson, Memphis and Old Dominion have shown interest.
Like any other high schooler, her future is uncertain, but if Hudson keeps the drive she was born with, Carlos and Chamblin will be watching their daughter compete for years to come.