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Dynamic duo - Reggie Hopkins and Marissa Hudley

03/14/11 -  

Seniors Reggie Hopkins and Marissa Hudley school their opponents on the basketball court. Back in the classroom and on the quad, they're teaching their peers about good character through example.

Dean of Students John Downey says Hopkins and Hudley are the epitomy of what scholar athletes should be - competitive and driven, but humble.  "They're each a paradox of what you'd expect from anyone  who has such strong leadership and drive," he said. "They're just wonderful role models to all of our students."

Men's basketball Coach Wes Long said Hopkins, from Gastonia, will be a big loss to the team after he graduates this spring.

"The most remarkable thing about Reggie is that he lives the right way and he isn't concerned at all about acclaim and applause from others," says Wes Long, men's basketball coach at Queens.  "He is uncomfortable when the conversation turns to his accomplishments. He'd rather just go about his business and do things the right way because that's the right thing to do. Reggie is a better person when he thinks no one is watching, while most people operate in the opposite way."

The men's team recently advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament, but lost to top seed Augusta State.

Marissa Hudley grew up in Charlotte and played for Harding University High before coming to Queens. "Mo," as she's known on campus, also has a reputation that precedes her.

Women's head coach Cheryl Nix says Hudley has changed the way she thinks about recruiting.

"I will look more at character and integrity harder than I have ever before," she said. "Mo has raised the bar when it comes to leading by example in a humble, mature way both on and off of the court."

Nix said Hudley has won the respect of her teammates and students across campus.

"She doesn't let things go to her head," Nix says. " She's won a lot of awards but is modest about it. She steps up in games, encouraging her teammates and taking control. She keeps a cool head and doesn't lead with her emotions. She's consistent, and just everything you'd ever want in a player."  

In addition to working hard in the classroom, Hudley also tries to give back to the community.

"We had some young players come to our game recently, and Mo took the initiative along with Tiffany Major to go and watch them play at their own school. Those kids were estatic, and to see her and Tiffany give back like that was really inspiring."

Hudley's season ended after the team was defeated by Barton in a College Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinal game. But she still has much to be proud of.

"Mo broke all-time rebounding record for women at Queens and is tenth in the nation for rebounding and top 25 for free-throw percentage," Nix said. "We're waiting to hear about how her nomination for the All-American award turned out, and she's already won All-Region academic and Intercon Student Athlete of the Month."

For more on Hudley and the women's basketball team, visit the Royals' homepage.  

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