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PINETOPS — Twin basketball stars Dominique and Monique Hudson (2003-07) graciously stepped into their places in the SouthWest Edgecombe High School Athletic Hall of Fame during Monday night’s Athletic Awards and Hall of Fame Induction banquet in the school cafeteria and gymnasium.
But their excitement didn’t match that of Joseph Williams, the evening’s third inductee, boosting hall-of-fame membership to 31 in 14 ceremonies.
The 50-year-old Williams followed his father, Teddy Williams, who was enshrined in 2009. Joe Williams qualified in all three categories — athlete, coach and supporter. Involved with SouthWest’s program for more than three decades, Williams was honored for his support of athletics.
“I’m fine with it,” Williams clamored. “It’s an honor to me. I never expected to be in it. It’s probably the biggest honor I’ve had in my life. My dad was one of my mentors as far was what I do here.”
Both twins anticipated reaching the zenith of recognition when their jerseys were retired in 2007.
“I am extremely grateful that (SouthWest athletic director and head girls basketball) coach (Sandra) Langley would come back and honor us,” commented Dominique Hudson. “This means a lot. It’s easy to be forgotten after you have been gone for a few years, and to be honored in front of the student athletes means everything.”
Exclaimed Monigue Hudson: “I honestly didn’t know there was something else we could get. When Coach Langley told me this was going to happen, I said: ‘All right, great!’ In getting prepared for this, I was really nervous.”
The Hudson twins, daughters of Gwen Hudson and born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, formed the backcourt that directed the Lady Cougars to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A championship and to a runner-up 3-A finish in 2007. Each’s jersey was retired 12 years ago during the second hall-of-fame gathering. Each was proclaimed one of the top 100 female athletes in North Carolina during the NCHSAA’s 100-year celebration.
Each signed a full NCAA Division I grant-in-aid with Gardner-Webb University and played there four years, sparking the team to the Big South Conference championship and to the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in 2011. Gardner-Webb, during the Hudsons’ tenure, played for the conference championship three years.
Monique Hudson, who wore jersey No. 15, ranks No. 4 all-time among SouthWest girls basketball players in scoring with 1,760 points. Dominique Hudson, the point guard, accumulated 1,178.
Monique, the shooting guard, was voted the most valuable player in the 2005 state-championship game, the Eastern Regional MVP and the most outstanding player in the state final in 2007.
Domninique, who wore jersey No. 12, was tabbed the 2-A Eastern Regional MVP in 2005. At Gardner-Webb, she wound up fifth all-time in scoring and is still the career leaders in assists and steals.
The background for each includes playing professionally and coaching. They now reside together in Raleigh.
A lifetime Edgecombe County resident, Williams played football for four years at SouthWest as an offensive and defensive lineman. He coached middle school, junior varsity and varsity football in the county for 31 years and is currently SouthWest’s defensive line coach.
Married to the former Tammy Causey, Williams has been involved in 11 conference championships and 21 playoffs appearances with the Cougars.
The vice president of Moore Paint and Wallpaper, Williams has painted the logo at midfield of the football field for 30 years and was recently a leader in renovating and painting the weight room. His contributions include the upkeep of the Fabulous Fifty Board amd donating the basketball roster boards in Sandra Shelton Langley Gymnasium.
“He has a passion for athletics and a passion for SouthWest Edgecombe,” Langley praised in introducing Williams, who was accompanied by family members, including his father.
The inductees addressed the turnout.
“Listen to the coaches, be the best you can be play hard and have fun,” Dominique Hudson challenged. “Athletics are short-lived.”
Cautioned Monique Hudson: “You are older a lot longer than you are young. Make sure you doing the right thing; it affects everybody, including yourself. Raindrops make puddles.”
Reasoned the elated Williams: “When people do so much for you, you want to give back. Coaches don’t coach for money; they coach for the love of the game and for the love of the kids. Remember what you learned while at SouthWest. When it comes time to give back, give back.”