Lou Hudson graduated from Dudley High School in Greensboro. After starring at the University of Minnesota, Hudson was selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the 4th pick of the 1966 NBA Draft. He was named to the 1967 NBA All-Rookie Team after averaging 18.4 points per game in his first season. At 6'5", Hudson could play as either a guard or a forward, and he had a long and successful professional career, scoring 17,940 points in 13 seasons (1966–1979). He was a six time All-Star with the Hawks (who moved to Atlanta in 1968), and he earned the nickname "Sweet Lou" for his smooth and effective jump shot. Hudson's jersey number has been retired by both the Atlanta Hawks and the University of Minnesota.
After his NBA career ended in 1979, Hudson sold restaurant equipment in Atlanta and briefly worked as a radio announcer for the Atlanta Hawks. In 1984, Hudson relocated to Park City, Utah, where became a real estate investor and served on the Park City city council in the early 1990s. He created a recreation basketball league where he served as coach for 20 years before suffering a major stroke on a Park City ski slope in February 2005. .He now makes public appearances as an "ambassador" for the "Power to End Stroke" organization.