'A program-changer': How Presley Hudson helped change women's basketball

Central Michigan senior guard Presley Hudson sits in the seats at McGuirk Arena on Oct. 12, 2018.

Presley Hudson came into the Central Michigan women’s basketball program with a vision from day one — she wanted to be a game-changer.

After the point guard led the team on a historic run in the NCAA Tournament, Hudson realizes what she has accomplished since being here. But for her, it’s not enough.

“I’m not satisfied,” Hudson said. “I came here wanting to leave my mark.”

To the eyes of CMU athletics and its followers, she already has. 

Hudson was honored with the school's Dick Enberg Scholar-Athlete award. It is given to a student-athlete who shows academic achievement and is considered a leader. In the classroom, Hudson has a 3.7 GPA and studies to be a physical activity specialist.

From a All-MAC Freshman team selection in 2015-16 to the previous two seasons of making the All-MAC First Team, Hudson has proven to be the floor general that has driven her team on the court.

To head coach Sue Guevara, she’s more than just a game-changer. She’s a program-changer.

“She lives, dreams and breathes basketball,” Guevara said. “Championship teams are coached by players on the floor, Presley has done that since day one.”

When Hudson arrived in Mount Pleasant prior to the 2015-16 season, the Chippewas finished with a 13-18 record the season before. It was the first season in three years that CMU had finished without 20 wins or more.

Hudson knew about the Chippewas recent success with a MAC title in 2013 which helped push her to CMU. Since day one Hudson has wanted to win and nothing else. She saw that championship culture with Guevara at the helm of the Chippewa program.

“Our goal is to be better every year than we were the season before,” Hudson said. “So this year we want to do the same thing.”

So far, she’s done nothing but engineer teams to that point. Every team since Hudson has arrived has went up in win total, including last season with a school-record 30-5 finish. 

Fellow senior Reyna Frost knew what they had in Hudson since the day they met.

“She’s always had a team-first mentality but really she’s meant so much to this program,” Frost said. “We came in with goals and we wouldn’t have accomplished what we have so far without her.”

On the floor is where her role model athlete standards continue. She has started all 100 games she could’ve possibly played in since being a freshman. In three seasons she’s averaged 16.4 points and 4.5 assists per contest. She’s fourth in program history with 1,635 career points entering her final season. Barring an injury, she should pass Crystal Bradford (2011-15) who currently tops the list with 2,006 points.

They’ve achieved back-to-back MAC regular season titles with Hudson, the first conference tournament title since 2013 and a trip to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. 

Hudson looks back on her time with CMU and described it as the blink of an eye. She wants to be remembered for the work she put in and the success her teams have had.

Guevara praised Hudson, saying she has been someone who has done all the little things right, even when no one is watching.

“She’s a gym-rat and there’s really no other way to put it,” Guevara said.

When it’s all over, Guevara thinks Hudson will become a coach. 

She looked at the person she recruited four years ago who she now considers a program-changer and said, “(Hudson) is going to take my job, there’s no doubt about it.”

Hudson smiled and responded, “You never know.”