Destined For The Court: Senior Jose Fudd follows sister’s footstep

On April 30th, senior Jose Fudd sealed the deal, signing his commitment to play basketball at the University of Mary Washington. 

Jose Fudd carries his family’s basketball legacy forward, following in the footsteps of his sister Azzi Fudd, a University of Connecticut (UConn) shooting guard. 

The summer before he transferred to Marshall from Wakefield, Jose Fudd said he had been debating it and continuously was asking himself, ‘Do I want to do this and leave everything behind?’. 

Despite feeling like the odd one out, Jose Fudd landed at Marshall because coach Jerry Lin invited him to play on their AAU Nova Cavs team and Marshall’s high academic opportunities. 

“Coach Lin was the one who invited me to come play on their AAU team with them,” Jose Fudd said. “[With] my situation at Wakefield, I didn’t feel like I belonged,” Jose Fudd said. “I felt like I needed to grow somewhere else academically and athletically.” 

Upon arrival, Jose Fudd said people already knew of him because of his basketball player sister.

“[During] my first two or three weeks here, everyone would look at me and they would be like, ‘oh my gosh, like that’s Azzi Fudd’s brother’ or ‘oh my gosh, I know your sister’,” Jose Fudd said. “I don’t know how many times I got that.”

He described himself as quiet at first, but with an outgoing personality he was able to adapt and find his place at Marshall. 

Being the “new kid” is something that Jose Fudd said was unusual, emphasizing how he felt he had high expectations from the people around him.

“It’s definitely weird putting yourself in that situation and being that kid that everyone’s talking about and with my sisters, social media presence and my whole family background like you’re definitely going to get talked about a lot,” Jose Fudd said. “And so they definitely expected a lot from me because my whole family was just basketball and fame, my mom was in the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.”

Taking on those high expectations, Jose Fudd said Marshall basketball sparked a competitive side of the game as he worked hard this year to receive the title of defensive player of the year. 

“This whole senior year, every single game when I stepped on the court, all I wanted to do was compete and even if I had a bad offensive game, I would have done everything on the defensive end to make up for that,” Jose Fudd said.

Marshall basketball left an impact on his ability to be a leader.

“I definitely think I grew as a leader on the team this year [because] last year, I didn’t play much of a leader role and I was really following behind [the seniors],” Jose Fudd said. “I wasn’t trying to step out of place because I was still the new kid.”

Jose Fudd said there were many underclassmen on the team this year and he wanted to encourage a team environment. 

“[The underclassmen were] always so quiet and they kept to themselves because they felt like if they stepped on the line, they would have gotten something from us,” Jose Fudd said. “As a leader I was trying to have them open up more and be more inclusive. It’s a team sport. You guys can’t just shy away, we can talk to you, you can talk to us like it’s not a hostile environment.”

Not only in basketball, Jose Fudd said he carries a driven mentality with him everywhere. 

“Everything in life is competitive,” Jose Fudd said. “You gotta work for what you want.”

Jose Fudd said this mentality propelled him to be able to have the opportunity to play in college. He begins his preparation for his upcoming season on the University of Mary Washington men’s basketball team, knowing he has a new challenge awaiting him. 

“I know it’s rough sitting on the sidelines and watching but hopefully this summer will be a big growing moment for me and upping my game so when I go to play 20 year olds next year, I’ll be strong enough and mentally prepared for the physicality,” Jose Fudd said. 

He said his decision to play at Mary Washington was mainly because of their consistency in reaching out to him, appealing campus and good environment.

“The coaches just seemed so interested and told me their plan when I got there [about] what my role is and how they are going to help me exceed academically and athletically, so that was a sell to me,” Jose Fudd said. “I went there for an overnight hangout with some of the team and I connected really well with them.”

As Jose Fudd prepares to move on to play in college, his sister Azzi Fudd recalls watching him grow as a player over the years. 

“I guess emotional can be the word I’m trying to say, seeing him and how much better he’s gotten,” Azzi Fudd said. “He’s always picked things up really easily, which was annoying.”

Azzi Fudd said she saw Jose Fudd’s improvement just from picking skills up in practices.

“Just to see how far he’s come since he was little, and jumping in my practices [when] he was younger, not even playing on a team yet to now being one of the best on his high school team, committing and going to play at the next level,” Azzi Fudd said. “So [I got] to see him make his dreams come true.”

Not only did Azzi Fudd’s practices help him, they also helped her through her college recruiting process. 

“I guess I helped him, but he helped me so much in my process as well,” Azzi Fudd said. “By being my rebounder and passer literally every day and they would cry, complain about it and obviously didn’t have a choice. They are my little brothers, my mom would tell them what to do, but still they were there every day helping me.”

All the hard-work didn’t go unnoticed, according to Azzi Fudd. 

“Just knowing that playing one on one and all the time we spent in the gym together wasn’t only helping me but also helping him,” Azzi Fudd said. “It means a lot, I’m so so proud of him and it just makes me so happy to know that he is also going to be living out his dream just like I am.”

Women’s college basketball has grown increasingly popular among viewers in the last few years. Living out her basketball dream, Azzi Fudd said it’s an honor to be in the position she is today. 

“Being able to say that younger girls look up to me when a few years ago I was that younger girl looking up to college players is definitely a blessing,” Azzi Fudd said. 

Despite facing a season ending injury in November of 2023, Azzi Fudd said that while recovering she could still play a vital role on the team by growing as a teammate off the court. 

“When you can’t play there are still things you can contribute while being on the sideline and obviously it’s really hard especially with what our team went through this year,” Azzi Fudd said. “When I come back and I can play, that will make me a better player and teammate on the court knowing what it takes to be a great teammate off the court.”

Growing up, Azzi Fudd said she never lost sight of her dream. 

“I think the biggest thing about my mindset was that I was always hungry. I always wanted to get better and I never said I was never complacent,” Azzi Fudd said.

Azzi Fudd said even though her high school team was winning championships, her mentality didn’t stop there. 

“I always set goals to make sure I was on track and getting better, but the biggest thing was just never settling,” Azzi Fudd said. “Never be okay with where you are.”

Even March Madness gets competitive within the Fudd family. While they have always made brackets, Azzi Fudd said she wouldn’t be pleased if her team was not picked to win their brackets. 

“Last year, I don’t think I spoke to Jose for a while because he had someone else winning,” Azzi Fudd said. 

“Our Family is so so competitive in everything we do and I think March Madness is just another thing for us to bet on, argue about and compete on,” Azzi Fudd said. “Just another day in the Fudd family I guess.”

While things can get competitive between the two, going home to see Jose Fudd is one thing Azzi Fudd said brings her joy. 

“In the summers or whenever I get to come home, it’s so nice to see him just because he’s stupid and his stupidity always brings a smile to my face,” Azzi Fudd said. 

Azzi Fudd also said she did her best to be there for both of her brothers when she could. 

“I just remind them and do what I can to show up and be there,” Azzi Fudd said. “Obviously my schedule is busy so I wasn’t there a lot, but when I could be. Marshall was [Jose’s] home for high school so that’s also my home.”

As the chapters turn for both of the Fudd siblings, they both expressed support for each other. Azzi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication, but plans to stay on the UConn team as a graduate student. Meanwhile, Jose Fudd will begin his collegiate basketball journey.

“Wherever my brothers are, I also want to be a part of that, I also want to be a supporter and a fan,” Azzi Fudd said. “[I] do as much as I can to let them know that I’m proud of them and that I’m going to back them up no matter what.”