Sophomore Carley Hudspeth is entering this basketball season prepared and optimistic.
Hudspeth, from Grenada, Mississippi, plays several positions on the UCA Sugar Bears women’s basketball team ranging from point guard to post.
She has been on the women’s basketball team since her freshman year.
She stands 6 feet tall and comes from a family of athletes.
Her mom was a three-time national basketball champion at Division II Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. That being said, basketball seems to be a sport she was destined to play.
“I love that it teaches you so much about yourself, it kind of reveals things to you that you might not have known yourself ... and it helps me grow as a person,” Hudspeth said.
Even though women and men play on different teams, she feels there is little difference between them.
“The men can obviously dunk and they are much faster, taller, stronger, but we have a lot of strategy in our game ... but other than that, it’s basketball,” Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth gives her all to the women’s basketball team.
“I feel like I contribute a positive attitude and the work ethic of ‘I’m going to give you my all every day no matter what,’” Hudspeth said. “So I just hope that that can encourage my teammates.”
She feels good about this season, even though the Sugar Bears had a rough start losing to opponents such as New Orleans, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State University.
“[This season] hasn’t gone as good as we have wanted it to, but we’re still looking to end this season on a good note,” Hudspeth said. “We have a lot more games and so we are hoping to take all the things that we have learned from the past few games and really apply it and go out with a bang.”
Hudspeth says the Sugar Bears take it one game at a time, only focusing on what is in front of them.
“With our season, we have laser focus, the next game is the only thing that we are focused on,” Hudspeth said. “We just won our last game, we want to continue our streak ... captialize and get that win.”
Hudspeth, this season, is 20 for 62 in field goals, and averages 2.6 points per game.
She has played in every game this season and has started in five of those games.
She averages 13.6 minutes of playing time for the season.
Hudspeth has 21 rebounds for the season. Nine of those were offensive rebounds.
Her favorite memories are the times she has spent with her teammates.
“A lot of it is the little things that people don’t tend to think about, like moments with teammates in practice or summer workouts,” Hudspeth said. “Obviously, the big moments are fun, like when you hit a big shot, but also moments with your teammates are really special.”
After graduating UCA, Hudspeth has dreams of continuing to play basketball elsewhere.
“I’m still thinking about career goals,” Hudspeth said. “I think it would really be awesome if I was presented with the opportunity to play basketball overseas.”
The standards the Sugar Bears are held to is something that is important to not only Hudspeth, but to the entire team.
“It’s just been an awesome opportunity to be a part of this program,” Hudspeth said. “We are held to such a high standard and have people around us that push us to be better every day.”