Chris Hudson’s professional basketball debut in Europe last year was short-lived, a victim of COVID-19 circumstances.
But after playing in just six games with the Kordall Steelers in Luxembourg in 2020 before the season was cut short by the coronavirus, the former Hodgdon High School standout is back overseas preparing to begin his second season in the pro ranks next week in the Netherlands.
This season he will be playing for Basketball Academie Limburg in the BNXT League. The BXNT is considered the top league for professional teams from both the Netherlands and Belgium.
Basketball Academie Limburg is located in Weert, a city of 50,000 people in Limburg province in southern Netherlands, and BAL Weert won the league’s most recent tournament championship last spring after being the No. 8 seed for the playoffs with a 12-9 regular-season record.
“The goal for this season is to finish in the top five in the country and compete for the league championship,” said Hudson, a 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard listed among the team’s starters for its opening game on Friday, Sept. 24. “Personally, I want to keep improving my skills to show that I can play and succeed at the Eurocup or Euroleague level.”
The 24-year-old Hudson opted for a professional basketball career after graduating in 2020 from Bentley University, an NCAA Division II school in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he became the most recent Falcon to surpass 1,400 career points.
He got off to a hot start in Luxembourg, averaging 26 points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game for the Kordall Steelers, a team in the second-ranked league in that country.
“European basketball is definitely different than in the U.S., but it has more similarities than people think,” said Hudson, now one of two Americans on the BAL Weert roster. “I have adjusted well so far, but I still have more room to grow.”
After his Luxembourg team’s season ended prematurely, Hudson eventually returned stateside. He stayed until August, when he went back overseas to his new basketball home.
“I don’t have much to say about life in Europe during the pandemic because there wasn’t much I could do in terms of travel to European hubs,” Hudson said.
“But time at home was great. I was mostly in Boston but got to spend a lot of time with family and friends. It’s been a great past year for me personally because I used the time to develop myself physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Hudson and his family moved to Hodgdon in 2009, and he earned Bangor Daily News All-Maine recognition as a high school junior when he averaged 24 points and 16 rebounds per game to lead Hodgdon High School to the 2014 Class D state championship.
Hudson spent the next two years at Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he helped the Wildcats win back-to-back New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Class A championships in 2015 and 2016.
Hudson graduated from Bentley ranked among the school’s leaders in scoring (1,428 points), rebounds (685) and blocked shots (84).
As a senior he averaged 19.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game and became only the fourth Northeast-10 Conference men’s basketball player in the last 20 years to be named both first-team All-Northeast-10 and the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.
Hudson shot 36.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc during his college career but improved to 46.2 percent during his brief stay in Luxembourg. He hopes to maintain that accuracy in the Netherlands.
“At the end of the day my ulterior motive is to make my friends, family and community proud and to make the most of this opportunity to play basketball at a high level and travel the world,” Hudson said.
“The results and my career will take care of itself if I just focus on truly enjoying the moment.”