Hawks great Lou Hudson inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Former Hawks star Lou Hudson was among 16 enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Hudson, who died in 2014, played for the Hawks from 1966 to 1977 and was a six-time NBA All-Star in his career. Nicknamed ‘Sweet Lou’, he played guard and small forward and scored 17,940 points in 13 NBA seasons. His last two seasons were in a Lakers uniform.

Hudson averaged over 20 points per game for the Hawks in seven seasons, topped by his 27.1 average in the 1972-73 season. His number 23 is retired by the Hawks.

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Tim Hardaway, Manu Ginobili, Swin Cash, Bob Huggins, Del Harris, Lindsay Whalen, Marianne Stanley, Theresa Shank Grentz and George Karl all delivered their enshrinement addresses as new members of the Hall Saturday night.

“A kid from the east side of Chicago made it all the way to Springfield, Massachusetts,” Hardaway said. “Incredible.”

Also honored were seven deceased members: Hudson, one of NBA’s first Black referees in Hugh Evans, former coach Larry Costello, international great Radivoj Korac and a trio of former Harlem Globetrotters in Wyatt “Sonny” Boswell, Inman Jackson and Albert “Runt” Pullins.

Credit: AJC file photo/Bill Grimes

Credit: AJC file photo/Bill Grimes

And special tribute was paid to two-time Hall of Fame inductee Bill Russell, who made it in as a player, then as a coach. Russell died earlier this year, and the ceremony Saturday began with Hall of Famers Jerry West and Alonzo Mourning paying respect to the 11-time champion.

“Bill was the ultimate competitor on the court and a remarkable human being off of it,” West said. “And in his own way, he made all the lives he touched a little better. That’s why he’ll be missed, especially by those who were fortunate enough to know him.”

Added Mourning, who spoke of Russell’s work as a champion of social justice: “Rest in power, my friend.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.