|Greatest Skyhawks face off in pro ranks |
|Posted: Friday, January 1, 2010 4:54 pm |
|Jared Newson earned his reputation by soaring over opponents to dunk the basketball at UT Martin. |
Lester Hudson made a name for himself by becoming the first NCAA Division I player ever to record a quadruple double.
Both players know each other and have a lot of respect for one another. They only played against each other one time before last week and it was a pickup game in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
Andres Irarrazabal, a junior on the Skyhawk basketball team, participated in that game.
“Before it was over it was JNews (Newson) versus Les (Hudson) and the rest of us were just rebounding,” Irarrazabal said. “Jared was talking a lot. He would tell Les, ‘You can’t shoot,’ and Les would knock down five in a row. He told Les, ‘You’re too slow,’ and Les would go right by him for a layup.”
This past weekend at the Portland (Maine) Expo, Newson and the Bakersfield Jam played the Maine Red Claws and Hudson in an NBA Development League two-game series and the first official meeting between the two UTM standouts.
The host Red Claws dominated the first game on Saturday claiming a 105-82 victory. Newson played a little more than nine minutes and scored two points. He also grabbed two rebounds. Hudson played 13 minutes and had just three points.
The production from the two former UTM players was disappointing but understandable.
Newson had just returned to the Bakersfield roster after being sidelined with a sprained wrist earlier this month.
Hudson’s performance also was excused. He arrived at the Portland Expo at game time and joined the Red Claws on the court in the second half.
The Boston Celtics prospect was reassigned to the D-League for the second time this season.
He appeared in three games for the Red Claws earlier in the season and averaged 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 34 minutes per game. Hudson was sent to the D-League to get more playing time.
The Jam won the second game 115-98 on Sunday, Dec. 27.
Newson scored 12 points and had three rebounds. He played more than 22 minutes off the bench. Hudson, also coming off the pine for his team, netted 21 points and pulled down five rebounds in 24 minutes on the court.
There is more to this story then UTM products playing against each other in the NBA D-League. There is also the tale of Newson’s journey around the world to the NBA D-League.
Unlike Hudson, who was drafted in the summer by the Celtics, Newson picked up his degree in 2006 and went to Germany, where he played for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. Local fans dubbed him Jared “Air” Newson after he was an all-star selection and won the slam dunk competition.
Then, Newson had a tryout with the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, but he was cut.
Instead of giving up his hoops dream, Newson inked a deal with Cairns in the Australian National Basketball League.
“Playing overseas helped some,” Newson said. “If you were on a good team, you have to be able to shoot the ball.”
While at UT Martin from 2003-06, Newson was not a timid player but he was most comfortable as the quiet type that let his actions on the court talk. He finished his career with 1,347 points, making him the program’s No. 3 scorer.
“It was good for UT Martin to have me and Lester play against each other. He’s already in the league and I am on the brink of cracking in,” Newson said.
“We did a lot of competitive trash talking during the two games because we have respect for each other,” Newson said. “Arguably the two best players from UT Martin played against each other and everyone had a chance to watch.”