Repeat Northwest Missouri State college basketball champ gives glory to God

Trevor Hudgins is one of the most decorated players in Division II basketball history. Yet alongside all the hard work and success, Hudgins recognizes that his faith in God paved the way.

The four-year starter for the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats only lost five games in his entire college career. Hudgins played a significant role in that impressive run, including accolades such as the conference’s freshman of the year in his first year and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Player of the Year three times.

This capstone season may have been Hudgins’ finest, culminating in the team’s 67-58 national championship win March 26 over Augusta (Georgia) – the Bearcats’ third national title in a row. Northwest has won four of the last five national championships in Division II. It is the only Division II school to ever win three in a row.

And in a 2020 postseason cut short by the pandemic, the 31-1 Bearcats were the No. 1 seed.

March 26’s win set Hudgins’ perfect postseason in stone, as he will graduate from the program with a perfect 17-0 postseason record.

In his postgame interview with CBS Sports, the three-time national champion was more than eager to give all the glory to God. 

“I don’t even know what to say. Glory to God first,” Hudgins said. “I prayed for things like this. It’s just a blessing to be in this environment, be in this title game with my team. These guys are fighters. From day one we fight.”

Hudgins is no stranger to speaking out about his faith: His Instagram bio quotes Psalm 27:1, saying, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” In addition, a team picture on his profile speaks of the faith of a mustard seed. 

In fact, Hudgins believes God directed him to Northwest Missouri State. At the tail end of the recruiting process, the star guard had narrowed his school choices down to Pittsburg State in Kansas and Northwest. While Pitt State went through a coaching change, Northwest Head Coach Ben McCollum intensified his pursuit of Hudgins, making the decision abundantly clear.

“I’d said it was like it was God telling me to go there,” Hudgins said. “Everyone just washed away and Northwest was the only one standing and, here I am.”

McCollum recalls sitting next to a mid-major coach on a recruiting visit, shocked to hear that coach claim that Hudgins was “not good enough for us.” In just a few short years, Hudgins received an interview request from ESPN NBA Draft guru Jonathan Givony about which Division I school he would be transferring to in his final year of eligibility. Hudgins decided to remain true to the school that saw his potential when no one else could, announcing he would finish his college career as a Bearcat. 


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“I thought they were just after the blue bloods and Power-5 type of guys, but all praise to God, I guess,” Hudgins said. “I’m just trying to be a Bearcat, work hard, win and just keep on moving. If they are taking notice, all the hard work is paying off.”

The hard work has paid off, with many experts believing Hudgins has professional potential, which remains his goal. He closes out his college chapter with the team record for points and assists in a career, and the record for most three-pointers made all-time in Division II.

Not bad for a kid who wasn’t “good enough.”