The Nebraska women’s basketball team made an addition this year, but she isn’t like the other new recruits.
Senior Kristian Hudson transferred to Nebraska to finish her final season. While Nebraska is quite the shock for someone who lived in the South her whole life, Hudson is finding ways to adjust and make Lincoln her home.
Hudson began her collegiate career at Florida International University in 2015. Hudson started all 29 games as a junior last year and led the team with 146 field goals, averaging 14.5 points per game.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology at FIU, she decided to take a trip to the Heartland and finish out her collegiate career at Nebraska.
Head coach Amy Williams told Huskers.com she is excited to see what Hudson will bring to the team to finish out Hudson’s career strong.
“We are excited to add Kristian to our Husker family," Williams said. "Her experience coupled with her enthusiasm to help us raise the bar for our program make her the perfect fit.”
For Hudson, coming to Nebraska was more than just finishing strong in basketball. Hudson said moving to Nebraska was something she felt was necessary to pursue personal goals and work on personal growth.
“The other school that I was looking at had everything tangible that I wanted, but [coming to Nebraska] was to grow in my faith and this is where I was led,” Hudson said.
Hudson said she never saw herself playing for the Huskers. As a Birmingham, Alabama native, Nebraska wasn’t a team that was familiar to her.
She said she jokes about how she would see a Nebraska game on television and would just click past it.
With her location, Hudson said she never paid much attention to Midwest schools, but after Nebraska started showing interest in her, playing for the Huskers didn’t seem so far-fetched.
Along with the Nebraska weather, Hudson is slowly adjusting to the fan atmosphere of the Huskers.
She said she was surprised by the 1,200 fans that attended the women’s basketball open practice on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
At FIU, Hudson said the average attendance last year was just around 462 per game.
“We had our little open practice, and they told us we had like 1,000 people there, and that was surprising,” she said. “Especially for a scrimmage, and then on top of that, a women’s game.”
The team culture around winning is also a big change for her. The women’s basketball team seems to be making long strides toward developing into a powerhouse program, which Hudson said she hasn’t experienced yet.
FIU went 8-21 last year and hasn’t made an NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2001-02 season. With Nebraska coming off its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011, the winning culture between the two teams is something Hudson said she has had to adjust to.
“[It’s] a different culture in terms of winning and being a part of that, striving to the NCAA Tournament, and striving to see different places,” Hudson said. “Just kind of the mindset when you are used to winning and when you have a more established culture rather than establishing that culture, like at FIU.”
Winning isn’t everything to Hudson though. She said that her time here at Nebraska is to help her grow herself and establish relationships with the team and coaches. She said building the relationships with her teammates and other supporters is what really counts for her.
“Looking back, I find it interesting that you don’t really think about how many points you scored in a game,” Hudson said. “What really hits home is the relationships that you build and how I will be able to grow and do different things, overcome challenges and lead to the next chapter in life.”