Semi TH3.jpg

Northwest Missouri State senior Trevor Hudgins shoots a 3-pointer in the national semifinal against Black Hills State in March in Evansville, Indiana. 

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Trevor Hudgins continued to add to his Northwest Missouri State legacy on Thursday night when the 2-time National Player of the Year became the first Bearcat to ever agree to an NBA contract.

“The draft party was fun,” Hudgins said. “I was just happy that I could share that moment with friends, family and even coaches. Coach Mac (Ben McCollum) was there so it was a good time.”

Minutes after the second round of the NBA Draft concluded, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out the news that the Houston Rockets had signed Hudgins to a 2-way contract.

“Towards the end, my agent pretty much said that it is a go for Houston,” Hudgins said. “… He basically said that you are going to get called soon. It was the GM for the Rockets (Rafael Stone).

“After that last pick was picked, he said, ‘Yup, it is official, you are a Houston Rocket.’ … I just pretty stunned. I was shocked a little bit — shocked isn’t the right word I guess. I was just kinda speechless. It was just like ‘Wow, it is actually here, I can’t believe it.’”

Hudgins would become the first Bearcat to play in an NBA game. Three Bearcats had previously been drafted in either the NBA or ABA with Allan Henningsen in 1950’s ninth round, Gene Jordan in 1960’s 10th round and Victor Coleman in 1984’s 10th round. The current draft is just two rounds.

McCollum and Hudgins each responded to the historic moment the same way.

“If you know me and Mac, you know that we both looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s go find a gym, let’s go work out.’ It wasn’t ‘congratulations’ or anything quite yet,” Hudgins said. “Right away, we were like ‘let’s go get a workout in,’ and we just kinda laughed at that.”

Each NBA team is allowed to have two players on 2-way contracts. These contracts allow a player to be eligible to play for the NBA team or its G-League affiliate.

Two-way players are allowed to play up to 50 games with the NBA team. The contract is half of a rookie minimum deal — $502,000.

“Being able to have a contract to sign was just unbelievable to me,” Hudgins said. “… Being able to be on an NBA court is just amazing to me. Coming from where I came from and the route I took, it is unbelievable.”

The Houston G-League affiliate is the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in Edinburg, Texas. They are the defending G-League champions and have won four championships since 2010.

The Rockets themselves are rebuilding after going 20-62 last season. They drafted Auburn forward Jabari Smith at No. 3, LSU forward Tari Eason at No. 17 and Kentucky guard TyTy Washington at No. 29 in the first round, but didn’t have a second-round pick.

“Coming into a team like this, it is a great opportunity for me to help out the young guys whether that be on the court or just personally,” Hudgins said. “I feel like I’m a good fit for them and I feel like we are going to be really good in the upcoming years. We are just building right now and it is going to be a lot of fun. Everyone sees the end result, but the process is the fun part.”

The starting lineup for the Rockets is projected to be 22-year old Kevin Porter, 20-year old Jalen Green, 21-year old Eason, 19-year old Jabari Smith and 19-year old Alperen Sengun.

“Those guys are pretty young,” the 23-year old Hudgins laughed. “I feel very old sometimes.”

Hudgins led the Bearcats to three national championships and never lost an NCAA Tournament game — his sophomore season’s tournament was canceled. He was the two-time NABC Division-II National Player of the Year.

“I just bring a sense of maturity,” Hudgins said. “Fifth-year senior at the D-2 level, you gotta be very mature. We don’t get the glitz and glamor of a D-I program so maturity goes a long way. You pair me up with how young the Rockets are and my shooting, it is a good fit. I’m just happy that they liked it.”

The point guard is a career 46.5 percent 3-point shooter on 936 attempts. His four-year scoring averages were 18.7 as a freshman, 19.6 as a sophomore, 19.8 as a junior and 23 last season. He also averaged five assists per game in 139 career games.

The Rockets first game of Summer League will be broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, July 7, as they play Orlando. On July 9, they play Oklahoma City on ESPN2 before playing San Antonio on ESPN on July 11 and Portland on July 14 on NBA TV.

“I flew into Houston (Friday) night, so I’m here right now,” Hudgins said. “I had a workout with Jabari and Tari (Saturday) morning.”

0
0
0
0
0