'We can lean on each other': Hudson, Frost hopeful for WNBA opportunity as draft approaches
Presley Hudson and Reyna Frost entered the Central Michigan women's basketball program as freshmen in the 2015-16 season.
At the time, each teenager began setting goals to play professionally.
Multiple team and individual awards later, the teammates, roommates and best friends are hopeful for their ambitions to become reality at 7 p.m. April 10 during the 2019 WNBA Draft.
There are 12 teams in the WNBA and three rounds in the draft, meaning just 36 players from the college level will be selected.
"Teams already know who they want to pick and everything and I am excited to watch the draft, but I am just focusing on getting better for the next level with my game," Frost said.
Even though Hudson wants an opportunity in the WNBA, she plans to go with the flow as the picks are made on Wednesday night.
"What's going to happen is going to happen," Hudson said. "It's taken a lot of work. There's been a lot of struggles throughout my career. I'm just blessed to go through those because it's pushed me to go harder every day."
Both Chippewas got a taste for the style of professional basketball at the ProHoops Combine on April 6. The event was an invite-only combine for top college seniors. Hudson and Frost were evaluated by the WNBA, foreign coaches and general managers.
The only player ever taken in the WNBA Draft from CMU was Crystal Bradford in 2015. She was nabbed with the No. 7 overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks.
While Bradford has been gone from CMU, Hudson dismantled her all-time program record for points. Frost did the same to her rebounding record.
Passing the assist record set by former CMU guard Suzy Merchant was something Hudson also accomplished at the beginning of her senior campaign. Merchant is currently the women's basketball coach at Michigan State.
Hudson finished her four-year career with 2,309 points, 542 rebounds, 643 assists and 185 steals. She shot 407-for-1,062 (38.3 percent) from the 3-point line and started all 133 games. She holds the all-time points and assists record for the Chippewas.
To cap off her legendary career in the No. 3 jersey, Hudson made 77-of-100 3-pointers in four rounds to win the NCAA 3-point contest (men and women) in Minneapolis one day before the NCAA Tournament Final Four.
"(CMU) is a great school and I think more people should know about us," Hudson said. "I think it shows our sports can compete at the highest level. The atmosphere was incredible and the other athletes supporting me was awesome."
Just like Hudson, Frost was dominant. The Mid-American Conference Player of the Year threw in 1,794 points, 1,526 rebounds, 232 assists, 181 steals and 118 blocks during her four years. Of the 133 games, she started 125.
Neither player has signed with an agent.
"It's really nice to have somebody with you through this whole process to see what they're thinking as well," Hudson said of Frost.
One year ago, CMU forward Tinara Moore went through the same process. She was an All-American Honorable Mention for her performance in the 2017-18 season but went undrafted.
Immediately following the draft, Moore accepted a training camp invite with the Washington Mystics. The former Chippewa eventually turned to play overseas in Spain for Valencia.
Since CMU's season ended on March 23 with a one-point loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament first round, Frost has reached out Moore for advice on what the game is like overseas.
"She said the girls over there are really strong and that (officials) call things differently," Frost said. "You just have to be ready for that because you are going to be a rookie too, and they are not going to want you to take their (roster) spots and you just have to be ready for that and do not stop working."
When Hudson was just a kid in Wayland, she always dreamt of making it to the professional level and had every plan to execute through hard work, determination and her love for the game. Now, it's coming true.
"I'm just really thankful that I was able to do it," Hudson said. "I wouldn't be able to without my coaches and teammates."
The WNBA regular season begins May 24, and both Chippewa stars might be on a roster somewhere in the United States. If they aren't playing in the U.S., expect the pair to sign overseas.
"Having someone to go through this process with you is very special and not a lot of people have that so we can lean on each other when we get stressed out about it," Frost said.
The first round of the WNBA Draft is on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. The second and third rounds are on ESPNU at 8 p.m.