Ken Hudson, NBA Pioneer

IAABO Black Caucus

As we observe Black History month and watch on television all the officials of color, it is good to remember that someone had to be the first. In the NBA that first person was Kenny Hudson. The following is his obituary reprinted from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette dated 05/17/2012:

Kenneth Samuel Hudson made history in 1968 by becoming the first African-American full-time referee in the National Basketball Association, but his legacy stretches far beyond the court. The pioneering Pittsburgh native spent four years officiating in the NBA before working in Boston and Atlanta in an executive capacity at Coca-Cola and as vice president of community affairs for the Boston Celtics Limited Partnership.

Mr. Hudson died May 9 in hospice care in Atlanta. He battled prostate cancer since 1997 and suffered brain damage in a recent fall. He was 72. The night after his death, the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics tipped…

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