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OU Mourns the Loss of Sooner Hoops' Pioneer
May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. -- Harold "Buddy" Hudson, whose name will forever be linked with the University of Oklahoma's men's basketball program and its history, died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack. Hudson became the first African-American to play in a men's basketball game at OU when he stepped on the court in the Sooners' season-opener on Dec. 3, 1958.

Hudson lettered two years for the Sooners, 1958-59 and 1959-60, before he earned a master's degree and eventually moved to Kansas City, where he taught math and history to junior high and high school students for more than 30 years.

From Purcell, Okla., Hudson graduated from Purcell High School, where he and Joe Lee Thompson broke the color lines for the Dragons as well as the Sooners. Thompson died in 1999. Hudson's prep career began at Booker T. Washington High School in Purcell before he transferred to Purcell High School, where he graduated in 1956. He lettered in basketball four years and once in football. Hudson played for legendary prep coach Boney Matthews, who was the winningest high school basketball coach in Oklahoma when he retired.

Hudson started his collegiate career at Oklahoma Baptist for Coach Bob Bass as the top reserve as a freshman. He transferred to OU after one season and played with the Sooner freshman squad in 1957-58 while he waited for his varsity eligibility.

A 6-2 forward/guard, the 1958-59 Sooner Basketball Media Guide called him "a promising junior speedster ... one of the fastest players on the squad," and said "he possesses a fine jump shot." In other stories from the time, he was praised for his defensive ability and willingness to take on the opponent's best scorer.

He finished fifth on the team in scoring as a junior and was third in rebounding. Hudson played in all 25 games as the Sooners finished 15-10 to finish second in the Big Eight Conference. He helped OU to a 14-11 mark in 24 games as a senior and a third-place Big Eight finish.

After graduating from OU, Hudson taught at Dunjee High School in Oklahoma City before moving to Kansas City. He spent three years as an assistant coach at Kansas City's Central High School and helped them win a state championship.

He recently celebrated his 54th wedding anniversary with his wife, Elaine, who he met while he was at Oklahoma Baptist. She survives him with their sons, John and Derrell, and daughter, Patricia McCauley and her husband, Terry; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; four brothers and five sisters.

Services for Hudson will be Wednesday at Swope Park Church of Christ in Kansas City. The viewing will be from 9-11 a.m. followed by the funeral at 11 a.m. Services are being handled by Lawrence A. Jones Funeral Home in Kansas City.

SEASON
GP
FG-A
FG%
FT-A
FT%
REB
RPG
PF
PTS
PPG
1958-59
25
57-169
.337
41-62
.666
90
3.6
82
155
6.2
1959-60
24
31-83
.373
29-48
.604
56
2.3
59
91
3.8
TOTALS
49
88-252
.349
70-110
.636
146
3.0
141
246
5.0
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