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Park City

"Sweet Lou" Hudson to be enshrined in the NBA Hall of Fame posthumously

Obit Hudson Basketball
AP
/
AP
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 1967 file photo, St. Louis Hawks rookie forward Lou Hudson (23) goes to the basket against Philadelphia's Bill Melchionni, in St. Louis. Six-time All-Star Lou Hudson died Friday, April 11, 2014, in Atlanta, the Atlanta Hawks said. He was 69. (AP Photo/File)

Park City resident and NBA star Lou Hudson will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.

The late Lou Hudson played for the University of Minnesota Gophers in college and got his start in the NBA with the St. Louis Hawks when he was the 4th draft pick in 1966. He played 11 of his 13 NBA seasons with the St. Louis - later the Atlanta Hawks - scoring more than 16,000 points for the franchise and nearly 18,000 points over his lifetime career.

At the time of his retirement, Hudson was the 12th all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He is ranked third on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. He was a six-time NBA All-Star.

Hudson played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his final two seasons. His number 23 jersey has been retired by the Atlanta Hawks. At 6’5”, Hudson could play as a guard or a forward. He earned the nickname “Sweet Lou” for his smooth jump shot.

Hudson retired from the NBA in 1979 and moved to Park City in 1984 to marry his college sweetheart, Madeline Smith. He became a real estate investor and also volunteered to recap local sports at Park City’s television station TV-45, then owned by Bill Coleman.

“I needed somebody that was going to at least take care of the local sports and he had already established a pretty good relationship with the local coaches and the athletes through the school,” Coleman expalined. “He would try to get the local angle of the sports and he couldn't help but talk about the NBA either, of course.”

Park City Recreation Director Ken Fisher said Hudson was passionate about basketball long after his professional career and shared that passion with the hundreds of Park City children through his annual summer basketball camps and scholarships.

“He was really in a lot of ways groundbreaking,” Fisher said, “in that he would offer up a lot of spots to underprivileged kids in the Park City area, as well as kids that he knew out of the Salt Lake Valley. You know, a lot of athletes will run camps and stuff. And lots of times, they're just sort of a figurehead where they may show up and, you know, talk to the kids a little bit. Lou was actually, you know, actively involved in the running of the camp and really got to know the kids.”

His wife, Madeline told KPCW that with the Hall of Fame induction, Hudson got everything he’d ever wanted in this sport...

Hudson will join 12 other members of the 2022 class that will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA on September 10th.