Head women’s basketball coach Uyen Tran has recently announced the hiring of Kristian Hudson as assistant coach for the upcoming 2020-21 season. She is from Birmingham, Alabama and will enter her first coaching position.
Coach Tran said, “I’m excited to have Coach K join and help build the women’s basketball program here at Graceland University, alongside with me. She was someone who really stood out and separated herself throughout the interview process. She had a very successful collegiate playing career, but what really drew me to her was that our goals and purpose aligned when it came to coaching. I think she is someone who will really compliment our staff and someone the players will enjoy working with.”
Hudson just completed her playing career this past spring as a graduate transfer at the University of Nebraska. She competed in 18 games for the Cornhuskers and provided experience and depth at the point guard position in 2019-20. In her first season at Nebraska, Hudson appeared in seven games with one start before undergoing season-ending foot surgery in mid-December of 2018.
Prior to her time at Nebraska, Hudson was the team captain and starting point guard at Florida International University (FIU) where she earned a degree in Psychology. At FIU, she was named ESPN Player of the Week, a two-time Conference USA Player of the Week, and was a 1,000-point scorer for the Panthers. Hudson dropped a career best 35 points in January of 2017 versus UTEP making 11 field goals and going 12 for 13 from the free throw line. She also had a career-high 10 assists in the contest.
Outside of her playing career, Hudson has compiled several off-court accolades as well. While earning her Master’s in Applied Science, she earned her first Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award after being named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar. Hudson was a 2020 Academic All-Big Ten selection and was a four-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll member. Hudson also represented Nebraska with her selection to participate in the WBCA’s “So You Want To Be A Coach” program. In addition, she was a member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.
At Graceland, Hudson’s biggest duty will be as the Head Coach of the Junior Varsity program. Tran added, “The beauty of being at a smaller school is that Coach K will have a hand in all aspect of our program; from recruiting, travel, operations, budget, practice planning, workouts, and scouting. This will give her the opportunity to learn game management skills and learn through trial and error to build her experience.”
Hudson has also worked with Point Guard College (PGC), a worldwide basketball camp for athletes, where she has helped younger players learn the aspects of leadership, proper mindset, and playmaking. At PGC Basketball, she promoted the director’s development training program and conducted on-court teaching as well as film breakdown of the players.
“I am thrilled and blessed for the opportunity that Coach Tran is providing me,” said Hudson. “It has been a dream to be on the other side of the game giving back and now it is my reality. As I continue to build a relationship with Coach Tran and the team, I am sure that the experience will bear much fruit. I am two feet in and committed to Graceland’s program and look forward to what is to come.”
Photo Courtesy Graceland AthleticsGraceland NAIA