« Men’s Basketball 2008-09

Lester Hudson

The University of Tennessee at Martin
University Studies


Lester is on track to graduate with a degree in University Studies.


Lester has overcome great adversity to become the man that he is today. In high school in inner-city Memphis, Lester showed potential on the court but didn’t regularly attend classes. It got bad enough that he became academically ineligible for his senior season of high school, so much so that he dropped out of school. His high school coach was afraid of what Lester might become with basketball not consuming his free time, so he arranged for Lester to get his GED and enroll at a local junior college with the promise that if he made the grades, he could play on the basketball team. Lester made the grades and played two seasons, but came up a couple of classes short to get into UT Martin. With the promise that he could live his dream to play Division I college basketball, Lester paid his own way to UT Martin for one year until he became cleared by the NCAA to play. With so many people giving him second chances and putting their reputations on the line to see him succeed, Lester hasn’t disappointed and now is one of the premier players in the NCAA.

Lester showed his commitment to staying in school this summer. Tempted by a guaranteed contract and a spot in the NBA Draft, Lester decided to return to UT Martin for his senior season to finish up his degree and to hopefully lead UT Martin to their first-ever OVC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance, which many national publications are predicting.


Lester works with the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown of Memphis, and quickly has been a fan favorite of kids and adults alike in Martin. Lester has taken the time to go out of his way to invite children to come to the home basketball games, visiting local schools and charming the kids with his outgoing personality.  At the 2008-2009 season opener against Maryville University on Friday, Nov. 14, Lester scored 27 points, had eight steals, seven assists, and seven rebounds in 27 minutes in a 121-56 win. More importantly though, the game was a “Character Counts” game, as over 2,500 local school children who had excelled in the classroom were invited to watch the game. After the game was over, Lester and the rest of his Skyhawk teammates personally took the time to shake each and every one of the children’s hands as they left the arena to board the bus back to school.


This season, Lester was named the 2008-2009 OVC Preseason Player of the Year, 2008-2009 Preseason All-OVC First Team, and Athlon Sports Magazine’s 2008-2009 Preseason OVC Player of the Year. Lester was named Athlon Sports Magazine’s 2008-2009 Preseason All-OVC First Team, and Athlon Sports Magazine’s 2008-2009 Fantasy NCAA Second Overall Player. Lester was also recognized as Athlon Sports Magazine’s 2008-2009 Fantasy NCAA Top Shooting Guard, Lindy’s Magazine 2008-2009 Preseason OVC Player of the Year, Lindy’s Magazine 2008-2009 Preseason OVC First Team, Lindy’s Magazine “Most Versatile” Player in the OVC, Lindy’s Magazine “Best NBA Prospect” in the OVC, Blue Ribbon Magazine 2008-2009 Preseason OVC Player of the Year, Blue Ribbon Magazine 2008-2009 Preseason All-OVC First Team, and the Blue Ribbon Magazine 2008-2009 “Top OVC Backcourt” along with teammate Marquis Weddle. In his first year at UT Martin, Lester led the Skyhawks to their first-ever winning season as a Division I program. Individually, he was named the 2007-2008 OVC Player of the Year, the first UTM player to win the award. He was also named the 2007-2008 OVC Male Athlete of the Year. He was a member of the 2007-2008 All-OVC First Team, and a 2007-2008 All-OVC Newcomer.  He was named a CollegeInsider.com All-American, an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, and a CollegeHoops.net Second Team All-American, becoming the first UT Martin player to garner NCAA Division-I All-American status. Lester ranked in the NCAA Top Ten in points per game (25.7; 4th), steals (2.8; 4th), and 3-pointers made per game (3.8;10th). Lester became the first Division-I men’s basketball player to ever record a quadruple-double in a game (25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals in a 116-74 win over Central Baptist on Nov. 13), and he recorded a triple-double against Southeast Missouri in a 98-85 win on Feb. 16 (26 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists). Lester shot a combined 25-for-51 (.490), 14-for-24 (.583) from 3-point range, for 69 points (34.5 per game), 21 rebounds (10.5 per game), seven assists (3.5 per game), and three steals (1.5 per game) in games against nationally-ranked Memphis and Vanderbilt. Lester collected eight double-doubles and scored double-figures in all but one game, cracking the 30-point plateau 12 times, including a career-high of 38. Lester’s 124 3-point field goals made and 320 3-point field goals attempted set new OVC records. Lester Made a 3-pointer in all but two games and ranked in the Top Three in four OVC single season categories. Lester led the OVC in four statistical categories (scoring, steals, 3-point field goals made, minutes per game), and was in the OVC Top Ten in eight statistical categories. Lester scored the most single season points in UT Martin history (847), 183 more than the previous holder and is just 126 points shy from becoming UTM’s 11th member of the 1,000 point club. Lester also earned OVC weekly honors nine times (Four Player of the Week, Five Newcomer of the Week).