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Not Your Average Tree Stump - By Mike Lynch
MikeLynch2.jpgIn 2005 Ken Hudson published his autobiography, "A Tree Stump in The Valley of Redwoods." In mid May Ken Hudson died after complications from a fall. Ken was 72 years old and did more for race relations and sportsmanship than any person I can recall.

Ken was a diminutive figure at 5 feet 6 inches but was a giant among athletes of all ages. Ken grew up in Pittsburgh and in 1968 became the first African American to become an NBA referee.

After four years in the NBA Ken moved to Boston where he held a number of jobs including director of community relations for the Celtics and eventually an executive with Coca Cola.  Ken befriended NBA stars with the same genuine sincerity as he did a Coca Cola truck driver or an eighth grader searching for his identity. I first met Ken when he was an NBA referee and later worked with him while a struggling rookie at a radio station and a high school basketball referee. 

At the time race relations in Boston were simmering each night. Ken always saw sports as a bridge between races, cultures and economic disparities. He took a chance and formed the Boston Neighborhood Basketball League (still in existence to this day) bringing together teenagers from every corner of the city. He told me one night to bring my "whistle and referee shirt" and meet him at a playground in Roxbury. 

With trepidation I showed up for the game that featured an all white team from South Boston and an all black team from Dorchester. Ken blew the whistle to bring the two captains together, introduced me as his partner and instead of going over the ground rules and warning against physical play, Ken asked the white kid what kind of pizza he liked. He asked the same question to the black player. Ken went on with more questions about their favorite NBA and NFL players and then he said, "see, you guys have more in common than you think. Now lets have a good game."

The game was incident free and after the game Ken invited both teams to the trunk of his car which was stocked with a couple of cases of Coca Cola. That was how Ken lived his life until the day he died. He used to tell me that " you reach twice in your life. You reach out for help, and you reach back to help someone."  Ken helped thousands to reach their dreams. Ken was hardly a "tree stump."

To those he reached, he was the tallest "redwood" of them all.
INDEX
Good As Gold - By Mike Lynch
It's OK Ray - By Mike Lynch
Blackwell Prepares for 2012 National Junior Evaluation Camp
Sam Kurker & Brendan Collier Selected in 2012 Entry Draft
May 17, 12
Not Your Average Tree Stump - By Mike Lynch
2012 Warrior Classic To Feature Elite Prospects Teams
Chris Kreider Shines On, Breaks Records With the Rangers
VJW Players Perform Well to Finish 2nd at Merrimack Valley Cup
2012 Eastern Junior Hockey League Spring Showcase
VJW Summer Discounts at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
14 VJW Players Selected For 2012 USA Hockey Development Camp
The Crown Was Too Heavy - By Mike Lynch
VJW Prepares For Inaugural Season in the Elite Prospects League
Chris Kreider Nets Game Winner in Game 6 For the Rangers
VJW Junior A Players Announce College Plans
2012-13 VJW Midget Coaches Announced
Chris Kreider Signs Deal With New York Rangers
Purple Passion - By Mike Lynch
2012 USA Hockey National Championships - Summary
Warrior Shawn Moody Selected to NH U-17 Festival Team
Tryout Reminder - Junior & Midget Dates and Times Are Posted
Three VJW Teams Prepare for 2012 National Championships
Warriors Take Home Three EJHL End-of-Season Awards
VJW '00 Elites Capture 2012 NEHL Championship Title
March Gladness - By Mike Lynch
VJW '99 Elites & '99 Selects Heading to USA Hockey Nationals
VJW Junior A Season Comes to an End in EJHL Quarterfinals
VJW Welcomes Stop It Goaltending for 2012-13 Season
Valentine's Day - By Mike Lynch
VJW Netminder Fabian Sivnert Accepts Scholarship to Bemidji State
VJW Junior A Team Advances to EJHL Quarterfinals... Again!
Save the Date - 2012 VJW Tournament Dates Released
Yes You Can - By Mike Lynch
Warriors Announce the Introduction of FULL SEASON U-16 Team
Former VJW Players Battle For Boston's Hockey Bragging Rights
VJW Teams Support Great Causes on the Frog Pond in Boston
Former VJW Star Sam Kurker Continues Dream Year
VJW Junior A Defenseman Conor Riley Heading to Maine
Josh Woody Named EJHL Offensive Player of the Week
VJW '99 Selects Find Time for Hockey & Fun Outside
Warriors Represented in NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings
VJW Accepting Coaches Applications for 2012-2013 Season
VJW Junior A Forward Mark Meads Commits to Bentley University
Scenes From Around Town - VJW Mite Minors
VJW Netminder Sivnert Named EJHL Defensive Player of the Week
Former VJW Star Colin Blackwell Featured in Hometown Paper
Skate On! - By Mike Lynch
North Team Loses, but VJW Players Shine at EJHL All-Star Game
VJW '99 Selects Lead the Winning Charge During MLK Weekend
Four VJW Players Selected for the 2012 EJHL All-Star Game
VJW Teams Compete Well at the 2012 JWK Tournament
VJW '01 Selects Continue to Roll in Holiday Tournament Play
VJW '03 Selects Skate to Victory During the Holiday Break
VJW '00 Elites Face Off in 2K Super Series Tournament
Men of Steele - By Mike Lynch
Six And Counting for the Red Hot VJW Junior A's
VJW '00 Selects Take Time to Give Back to Toys For Tots
Colin Blackwell Feeling Right At Home in Cambridge
VJW Junior As Extend Winning Streak to Four Games
VJW '97 Elite Players Prepare for High School Challenges
Warriors Sweep Glades to Move Into Third in Northern Division
VJW '01 Selects Win Big at Thanksgiving Tournament
Occupy Anti-Hazing - By Mike Lynch
VJW '00 Selects Capture Bronze at 2011 CAN/AM Tournament
VJW Teams Take Home Titles, Impress at Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
Teams Prepare for 2011 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
VJW Teams Come Together For A Great Cause
VJW '97 Elites Win States; Are National Bound Again
Family Affair - By Mike Lynch
VJW Teams Bring Home Gold, Three Bronzes at 2011 CAN/AM Tournament
VJW Junior Squads Perform Well at the 2011 Warrior Classic
2011 Warrior Classic Underway in Haverhill
VJW Mite Minors Enjoy a "Special" Visit
VJW '03 Selects Look Strong Heading Into CAN/AM Tournament
VJW Junior As Split Weekend Series With Apple Core
Barrier Buster - By Mike Lynch
Four VJW Squads Fare Well at 2011 Bauer International Challenge
VJW Junior As Extend Win Streak to Four Games
Three VJW Players Earn New England Hockey League Weekly Honors
Fenway Follies - By Mike Lynch
Trevor Braun Delivers Again; Leads Junior As to Win over Monarchs
Two Big Wins Lift VJW '97 Elites to the No. 2 Spot In the Nation
Warriors Skate to Big 7-5 Victory Over the Jersey Hitmen
Warriors Put A Little Bit of "Pink" In Their Step
VJW 03 Selects Enjoy Hockey Northeast Debut
VJW Teams Impress Early During NEHL Qualifying
VJW Junior A Team Ready For New Challenges
No Light At The End Of This Tunnel - By Mike Lynch
Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning Center Comes to Haverhill
Happy New Year By Mike Lynch
VJW '97 Elites Ready For Another Memorable Season
Defying the Odds: 2011 Warrior National Showcase Is a Hit
Ring the Bell for Keegan - By Mike Lynch
Al Always Gave His All - By Mike Lynch
2011 Warrior August National Showcase Comes to Haverhill in August
Summer of Stanley - By Mike Lynch
Former Warrior Colin Blackwell Selected In 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Welcome Home Stanley! - By Mike Lynch
Come One, Come All to the 2011 VJW Golf Classic
VJW '97 Elites Enjoy Impressive Spring Hockey Festival Performance