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Minnesota Basketball: Gopher Legends Lindsay Whalen and Lou Hudson Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Whalen was elected on the first ballot

The 2022 Class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame was announced Saturday afternoon and a pair of former Minnesota Gopher greats will be inducted in the same class. Former Minnesota Women’s star and current Gopher head coach Lindsay Whalen and former Gopher star and NBA All-Star Lou Hudson will both be inducted in the Class of 22 on September 10th in Springfield, Massachusetts. They are the third and four Gophers who will have thier named enshrined in Springfield after John Kundla and Kevin McHale.

Whalen is a Hutchinson, Minnesota native who came into the U as a freshman in the fall of 2000 she would shatter the record books. When Whalen’s Minnesota career was over she was the Gophers’ all-time points leader, along with being second all-time in assists and third all-time in steals. Whalen was the first three-time All-American in program history, a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Of course Lindsay and her teammates led the Gophers to their only Final Four in program history in 2004. Her jersey, No. 13, hangs in the rafters of Williams Arena.

After leaving the Gophers Whalen would end up a star in the WNBA. After playing five seasons with the Connecticut Sun, Whalen was traded to the Minnesota Lynx in a move that changed the fortunes of the Lynx immediately. Whalen would help the Lynx to four WNBA championships (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017). Lindsay was a six-time WNBA All-Star and three-time All-WNBA first-team selection and is still the league’s career leader in games won at 307. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game in her career with the Connecticut Sun and the Lynx and was named a member of the league’s 20th anniversary team in 2016 and the 25th anniversary team in 2021. When she retired the Lynx would join in the Gophers in retiring her #13.

Whalen also represented the US on the international stage multiple times. Whalen won a pair of gold medals in the Olympics in 2012 and 2016 and also helped the US to two World Championship victories in 2010 and 2014.

Lou Hudson is a name that isn’t brought as often in Gopher basketball lore as some of the more recent stars, but the Greensboro, North Carolina native plays a large role as a trailblazer in the history of the Gopher program. Hudson along with Archie Clark and Don Yates where the first three black basketball players to receive a scholarship from the University of Minnesota. His high school teammate Charlie Sanders would become a star tight end for the Gophers football team before becoming an NFL Hall of Famer with the Detroit Lions. Hudson would play three seasons for Minnesota under fellow Basketball Hall of Famer John Kundla as freshmen were ineligible to play at the time and would finish his Gopher career with 1,329 points, which ranks 17th all-time in the Minnesota record books. In 1965 Hudson was an All-America selection and All Big Ten First Team honoree. For his Minnesota career he averaged 20.4 and 8.9 rebounds during his Gopher career in 65 games played.

Hudson would be the #4 pick in the 1966 NBA draft by the St. Louis Hawks where he would play for the majority of his 13 year NBA career after the Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968. Hudson would be named to the All-Star Team six times and he would amassed nearly 18,000 career points. At the tome of his retirement he ranked 12th all time in scoring in the NBA. His #23 is retired in Atlanta with the Hawks.

Congrats to a pair of Gopher icons who now will get the attention they fully deserve!