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10 Questions with Top 5 Prospect in Canada - Hudson Ward


photo via FIBA


In the world of Canadian high school basketball, exceptional talent shines through the dedication and hard work of individuals who are poised to leave their mark on the sport & country. One such prodigious talent is Hudson Ward, a standout prospect emerging from Western Canada Prep Academy. With a remarkable journey through the ranks and a place among the top 5 prospects in the country in my books, Hudson's story is one of ambition, growth, and relentless pursuit of excellence. In an exclusive interview, we explore his recruitment process, his experiences in the competitive Nike EYBL, his development at the Western Canada Prep Academy (WCPA), and his aspirations for the future. Through his insights, we gain a glimpse into the mind of a young Canadian athlete who is not only a promising basketball player but also a determined individual ready to make his mark on the collegiate and professional stages.


 


1. Can you tell me about your recruitment process so far? Which college programs have shown interest, and what factors are you considering when choosing the right fit for your collegiate career? Over the past 2 years I’ve gotten lots of interest from schools of all levels. Some of the schools that have reached out are Princeton, Montana, Colorado State, NJIT, Oregon State, Oregon, High Point and FGCU. I’m looking for a school where I can thrive in my position and have a good relationship with my coaches and the coaching staff. 2. The Nike EYBL is known for being one of the most competitive grassroots basketball leagues. How has your experience playing in the EYBL helped you grow as a player, and what were some of the challenges you faced during those high-level games? It’s really helped me develop as a player and learn to play at a faster pace with quicker decision making. When I first started playing in the EYBL at 16U I faced the problems of adjusting to the faster pace because I had never played at that high of a level before, but I adapted quickly by the second session. 3. Playing at the Western Canada Performance Academy (WCPA) must have been a valuable opportunity for your development. How has the training and competition at WCPA contributed to your skill set and overall basketball knowledge? It’s been great to stay at home and still be able to get into the gym with great players from all over Canada and even out of country. Having those high level guys really helps push me to the max and be the best player I can be. We had a great group of guys last year and I think we’re more talented this year.

4. You've had the chance to compete with both GOOD Hoops and UPLAY. Can you compare and contrast your experiences with these two programs, and how has each of them shaped your game differently? UPlay gave the opportunity to play EYBL and allow me to test my talent against top talent in my age group across North America. Good Hoops is where I actually developed as a player and learned how to play. Both are great programs that have helped me in different ways to get to this point. 5. Aside from basketball, have you been involved in any other sports, either currently or in the past? How have those experiences in other sports influenced your basketball abilities? I used to play hockey as my main sport before basketball, and I think having played hockey for most of my life it really contributed to my vision on the court and being able to have quick hands to get steals and pressure players defensively. 6. As a 6'7" prospect, your height gives you a significant advantage, especially as a passing lane disrupter. How do you capitalize on your height defensively, and what aspects of your game are you actively working on to become an even more well-rounded player? With my height and length I really try to get into the driving and passing lanes while off ball, and really helps me get a good contest while I’m on ball. I’m trying to get a more consistent 3 point shot and be able to work a bit more out of the mid range so I am scoring at all 3 levels consistently.

7. Team Canada is a prestigious platform to showcase your skills. How has representing your country at the international level impacted your approach to the game and your mindset as a player? The experience was able to show me what the rest of the worlds best players have to offer and that I have to stay in the gym to stay sharp and ready for that level of competition. Playing in the World Cup showed me I can play with anybody. 8. Maintaining excellence on the court requires dedication and hard work off the court as well. Can you share some of the off-court routines and habits you follow to stay physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of high-level basketball? Every time after a workout I’m always stretching and trying stuff like hot tubs and ice baths to help recover faster. I also talk to a sports psychologist to help me with my mental game and mindset. I have a regular routine of physio/prehab and recovery I follow. 9. Being ranked as one of the top 5 prospects in Canada is undoubtedly a remarkable achievement. How do you handle the pressure and expectations that come with such recognition, and how do you stay focused on continuous improvement? I try to block out all the social media stuff and just focus on getting in the gym. I know that as long as I’m in the gym getting better then I’m confident in my abilities to play with the best players. 10. Looking ahead, what are your long-term goals in basketball? How do you see yourself contributing to the sport at the collegiate level and beyond? My long term goal is to be playing pro after my college career, but for now I’m focused on getting to college and trying to adapt my game to fit the college play style. At the collegiate level I think I’ll be able to contribute a lot to scoring, defending and rebounding. I am excited to impact winning at that level, that is my goal going in.



 

Hudson Ward's journey from local courts to the national spotlight is a testament to his unwavering commitment and innate basketball prowess. As he navigates the intricate recruitment landscape, his focus on finding the right fit for both his game and his relationships with coaches is a testament to his maturity and dedication to personal growth. The challenges he overcame while competing at the highest levels of basketball in the EYBL, his development at WCPA, and his experiences on the international stage with Team Canada have all contributed to his evolution as a player with a comprehensive skill set and a global perspective.


Hudson's dedication extends beyond the court, with his diligent off-court routines and mental preparation showcasing his understanding of the holistic nature of athletic excellence. As he looks ahead to his collegiate journey and beyond, his aspirations to contribute on multiple fronts—scoring, defending, rebounding—underscore his commitment to being a well-rounded player who leaves an indelible impact on every team he joins.


In Hudson Ward, we witness a young athlete on the cusp of greatness, armed with the tools, mindset, and determination to reach the pinnacle of basketball success. As he continues to rise through the ranks, his story inspires not only those within the basketball community but also anyone striving to achieve excellence in their chosen field. The future is undoubtedly bright for this rising star, and the Canadian basketball world eagerly anticipates the contributions and accomplishments Hudson Ward will undoubtedly achieve.




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