St. Vincent-St. Mary senior Jalen Hudson will finish out his high school career with family in Ohio and then relocate out of state for college with family at his side as well.
Hudson signed to play basketball on scholarship at Virginia Tech University on Wednesday in a move that will take him back to a state he called home for much of his childhood.
“The ACC is the best conference in the world,” Hudson said. “It is two hours away from my hometown [Richmond] and all my family can come see me. I love the coach, I love the atmosphere and I know a lot of people there already. I feel like it is a great fit for me.”
Virginia Tech is located in Blacksburg, Vga. Hudson was born in Akron, but spent a majority of his youth in Richmond following a family move. He attended Benedictine High School in Richmond, and helped that school to a state title and a state semifinal appearance. He moved back to Akron prior to junior year and enrolled at St. V-M.
“It is going to be a great future,” St. V-M coach Dru Joyce II said. “He is really just scratching the surface of his potential. I think that he has got a long way to go as far as some of the areas that he can improve. That is not a negative. That is just how talented he is as a player. The fact that they signed him shows they think a lot of him. In that league, the position he is playing there is a lot of pros. You want to sign someone who thinks is at least a contemporary with those guys who are going to be NBA pros. That is what the two and three positions, the wings, are in the ACC.”
Hudson said Virginia Tech recruited him “as a combo guard, a one or a two.”
“I feel like I will have more of an opportunity to get out on the floor because I can play more than one position,” said Hudson, who is 17 and has a 3.3 grade-point average.
Hudson also considered Arkansas, Michigan State, Houston, Harvard and George Mason.
“He has grown in all areas of the game,” Joyce said. “Nothing against where he came from, but he came here as kind of a role player. Last year we kind of threw him out there and said, no you have to be a leader. He has grown as a leader on the court and he is shooting the ball better. He is getting to the rim better. Defensively, he has gotten better, but he still has a ways to go defensively. Those are the areas he has shown improvement.
"I believe that he has got a great person in front of him to learn from. LeBron [James] still works at his game like he wants to be the best. There are always areas where he can get better at. That is an example I hope all of our players take and are willing to execute. Understand and know you are not done yet. There is a lot of growth, no matter where you are at you can still grow and become better.”
St. V-M opens its season at rival Archbishop Hoban on Dec. 3.