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Presley Hudson might as well have lived at McGuirk Arena. In her four years at Central Michigan, she was legendary for being in the gym before the sun had risen, long after it'd gone down, and all the time in between.

And, wouldn't you know it, just days after her college career officially came to an end in an NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan State, Hudson still is there putting up shot after shot. She's preparing for her appearance in the 3-Point Championship on Thursday night as part of the men's Final Four festivities.

She found out about the invitation during a practice last month.

"I was really excited," said Hudson, who owns the all-time scoring record (for men or women) at Central Michigan, as well as the women's program's assist record. "It's going to be really cool to go against other girls, the best in the country at 3-point shooting. It'll be a cool experience, just being there and seeing everybody.

"And hopefully I can come out with the win."

Nobody's doubting her ability to do that, not for the star guard who hit 43.7 percent of her 3-pointers during her junior season, and 38.2 percent as a senior.

She saved some of her biggest shots for the biggest moments, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer that sent a Mid-American Conference tournament quarterfinal game to overtime, where it beat Eastern Michigan.

And she hit some huge ones late in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament, against Michigan State, which held on for the thrilling, 88-87 victory.

Those next few days, well they were mighty rough for Hudson, who along with fellow senior and best friend Reyna Frost led Central Michigan to the Sweet 16 last year.

"It was just tough, realizing it's all over and I won't be playing for CMU, I won't be wearing that jersey anymore, I won't be able to play for Coach (Sue Guevara)," Hudson said over the phone this week, ahead of her Wednesday trip to Minneapolis. "It was a hard couple of days, just kind of taking that all in.

"Then a couple days after that, I could reflect on my time here. I'm just happy to be here, blessed with the opportunity Coach G gave me.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Hudson's trip to Minneapolis will be a quick one. She'll participate in a dinner Wednesday, do some interviews, and such. Then there's a shootaround Thursday, before the competition Thursday night, airing live on ESPN at 9. The 3-Point Championship will be shown along with the Slam Dunk Contest.

She won't get to stay for the Final Four, which includes Michigan State, the team she grew up rooting for.

Hudson and Frost — an honorable-mention Associated Press All-American — will fly to Tampa, Fla., on Friday for a WNBA Combine. That's the goal for both of them, to continue playing professionally, either in the United States or overseas.

And after their paying days are over? Two very different paths. Frost wants to be an astronaut ("She thinks she's going to damn Mars," Guevara said). Hudson, meanwhile, wants to coach, just like two of her favorite people, Guevara and her father, Mike Hudson, who's the longtime varsity boys basketball coach at her high school, Wayland in west Michigan. Hudson already has started preparing for that journey. She's a regular in Guevera's office, for film-breakdown sessions. She's a sponge when it comes to hanging out with Guevera, who just completed her 12th season as Central Michigan coach, after a seven-year run at Michigan from 1996-2003.

"I love the fact she wants to coach," Guevara said. "I really hope she gets into coaching. It's in her blood. Her grandpa, her daddy, her brother.

"She knows the game, she loves the game.

"And if she doesn't coach, I hope she gets officiating, because God knows we need a lot of help there."

A personal training and strength training major, Hudson is even one of her classes to observe Central's coaches and get a behind-the-scenes look at her potential future.

For now, though, there still is basketball to be played, and 3-pointers to shoot.

Hudson — who had three other college offers, from Eastern Michigan, Davenport and Ferris State, before committing to the Chippewas — is using Central Michigan racks like the ones she'll use Thursday night at Target Center. She figures her record for consecutive made 3s is somewhere around 30.

"She's gonna win," Guevara said.

Hudson won't be the only outgoing Chippewa to be around for some Final Four hoopla.

Central Michigan outgoing senior guard Larry Austin Jr. will participate in the 3X3U National Championship, April 5-7 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. For that, there's actually a $150,000 prize pool, with the winning team taking home $100,000 (money that is fair game, with all 128 participating players having exhausted their amateur status). There are four players from every conference. The Horizon League's four includes Detroit Mercy's Josh McFolley.

Early round games will be streamed live on Twitter, with the April 7 semifinals and final on ESPN2.

Slam dunks

►We should know in the coming weeks whether the longtime series between Michigan State and Oakland will continue for 2019-20. No contract has been signed to extend the series, which goes back 17 games, all between good friends Tom Izzo and Greg Kampe.

The games have been riveting over the years, including an OT win by Michigan State at The Palace in 2015. They played to a large crowd in 2017 at Little Caesars Arena.

Any new contract would be a home-and-neutral, with the games alternating every other year between Michigan State and likely LCA.

►Speaking of Oakland, don't be surprised if the Golden Grizzlies get a nonconference game or two with Cal in the coming years. Cal just hired Mark Fox, a friend of Kampe's from Fox's days at Georgia. Oakland and Georgia played multiple times under Fox.

►Western Michigan is bracing to lose guard Bryce Moore for his senior season. He's put his name in the transfer portal and is expected to leave. Moore averaged 9.8 points as a junior, playing much of the season with a torn ACL that kept him out all this season.

►Central Michigan center Innocent Nwoko, who just finished his redshirt sophomore season, is transferring. The New Haven, Mich., native, who measures 6-foot-11, averaged 5.3 minutes this season.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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