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Hawkins opens up about choosing the Cats

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After announcing his decision to attend UK, Dominique Hawkins spent some time with the media. First, he answered the question on everyone’s mind: yes, he will have a full-ride scholarship at UK and he actually found out the day that the Madison Central went to UK’s practice after winning the State Championship.

Orlando Antigua called Dominique yesterday to wish him well during today’s announcement and told him that he better be ready to compete, because no one, including the McDonald’s All-Americans coming in, will be guaranteed a starting spot.

Does Hawkins consider himself a great player? “I guess I’m a great player now that Kentucky offered me, it’s amazing.”

Hawkins has played against some of his future teammates before. He scored 29 in Madison Central’s game against the Harrison Twins’ Travis High, and based on that, he knows he can compete with them: “I showed them what I’ve got.” He said that he thinks next year’s practices are going to be “really fun,” and that he’ll improve just from practicing against such great talent every day.

What is Kentucky getting in Hawkins? “They’re getting a tough-nosed point guard, a guy who’s learning how to be a leader and is going to be a leader and a guy that can get his team involved.” Above all, Hawkins just wants to be “a player who can help the team.” After this season, there have never been sweeter words.

When asked if he thought getting a scholarship to UK would be possible two to three months ago, Hawkins was honest and said no, crediting his team’s amazing run in the Sweet Sixteen for getting him on Cal’s radar. What also helped? His cousin and current UK undergrad assistant Marquis Estill putting a good word in for him with Calipari, along with Calipari’s dentist, who lives in Richmond. (At least something good came out of all that dental work Cal had done late in the season.)

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Hawkins in his personalized UK hat, which his father had made for him. Photos by @BDawsonRivals and @NextCats

It was hard not to smile when Hawkins described how his life would change now that he’s headed to one of the elite programs in the country. He confessed that he’s never really traveled anywhere outside of the state except Florida, and coming to Kentucky would give him a chance to “see the world.” If UK hadn’t have offered him a scholarship, Hawkins said that he would probably have chosen Western Kentucky; his mother said that staying in Kentucky was a big factor for their family.

Hawkins’ coach, Allen Feldhaus Jr., couldn’t have been prouder of his former player, and for weeks has said that “he is nobody’s walk-on.” Feldhaus also said that Calipari told him that watching Hawkins and his teammates play in the Sweet 16 inspired him to be a better coach, and that while his initial interest in him was a favor to Madison Central, after seeing watching them play, Cal said that Hawkins was doing him a favor.

What did Cal say when he offered Hawkins a spot? “Do you know what you’re in for?” Hard work and the chance of a lifetime, I’d say.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

38 Comments for Hawkins opens up about choosing the Cats

  1. kes
    10:20 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    seems like a great kid. best of luck, dom!

  2. WWMKGD?
    10:24 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Not that it really matters, but when did he get the scholly offer from Cal? Earlier post said he had been waiting for a call the last few weeks, but this post says he was offered right after Sweet 16. Guess maybe he had a pending offer and just needed to waiting until the dust settled (Harrow, Goodwin, etc.)

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      10:32 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

      2 – You’re correct, he got the offer earlier and had to wait until the roster shakeups became public. It’s been corrected in the post below.

  3. Big Blue 66
    10:31 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    barracuda I tell you….barracuda

  4. tyson
    10:32 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    It’s great to have someone who grew up in KY and dreamed of playing for UK all their life. These kids usually have the intangibles that others don’t. Love seeing his excitement.

  5. TampaCat
    10:34 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Hawkins – Welcome from BBN – You are a fine young man! We are lucky to have you!

  6. TampaCat
    10:35 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Wow! You scored 29 going up against the TWINS? Very impressive!!!

  7. RICK
    10:36 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Welcome to bbn and he is going to have fun winning a ntl chmp. next year.

  8. theWilkman
    10:36 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I couldn’t be happier for this kid. He’s realizing the dream of all of us who grew up bleeding blue.

  9. barn
    10:43 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    when is wiggins going to announce?

  10. BigBlue
    10:44 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Good Kentucky boy that will work hard is always valued. Welcome Hawkins!

  11. mike
    10:46 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I predict he will get 5 minutes a game in our 30 point blowouts. During that time, he will demonstrate that he is a very good player, but still a normal freshmen. By 2014-15, after we lose half our team to the draft or w.e., he may be our sixth man and the backup pg. He may get some quality spot up minutes this coming year if our team is as good as i think it will be. There will be very few nailbiters…if any.

  12. Ambrose
    10:47 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I like seeing his great big smile. He is already enjoys being a cat!

  13. Jay
    10:48 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Is it wrong to say I’d rather have him than wiggins? You know, it’s a too many chefs kind of thing. But you can never have too much heart, and this kid wants it more than any other freshman coming in this year.

  14. CatsFan502
    10:50 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Couldn’t be happier for this kid. He is living the dream a lot of kids from this state have dreamed for a long time. I know he is coming in with a stud class but a kid like this can solidify the program from the constant turnover of recruiting the best of the best and avoid the issues that the team ran into last year. I love how much enthusiasm and excitement he has just from the announcement and the anticipation of what is to come. Congrats sir.

  15. Dumbledore
    10:52 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    Seriously – this excites me as much as when the Harrison and Julius committed. I can’t wait to see Hawk play.

  16. Bryan in Houston
    10:54 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I big congratulations to this young man. Living a dream of getting a scholarship to play at UK. Truly an honor and one I don’t see him taking for granted.

  17. Ray
    10:58 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I love this kid. His enthusiasm is really what it’s all about.

  18. Rockfield, KY
    11:02 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think we need to be welcoming him to the BBN. I think he’s been a part of it his whole life, which is one big reason I like him.

  19. KD
    11:08 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    This kid has ability and above all else, desire. I would not be speculating about his playing time, or lack of, at this juncture #12. This is very exciting for all involved….icing on the cake for the 2013-2014 Cats.

  20. Cat89
    11:14 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    “What also helped? His cousin and current UK undergrad assistant Marquis Estill putting a good word in for him with Calipari….”
    Why include this? It only serves as fodder for those who question how this young man came out of nowhere to be a part of what many are calling the greatest recruiting class of all time.

  21. Like Bledsoe?????
    11:15 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    14 I get what your saying but yes it’s wrong to say. Look at where Hawkns is ranked know way they all are that far off. That said as we have seen with Polson he does have the hart. So if he’s willing to put in the work and by al accounts he is. In a year or two he could play a role similar to Polson as a key reserve and back up PG. Just as most freshman it’s going to take time
    Every time I say this somebody will say that I’m throwing off on the kid and I’m not. 99% of all Kentucky boys would love to trade places with him.

  22. Like Bledsoe?????
    11:21 am April 10, 2013 Permalink

    20 Jst how much playing time do you think is realistic for the 157 rated player coming in to one of the better teams ever put together. Do you think he will start? Do you think he will be the 6 man? Do you think he will be the back up PG? It’s great he’s at UK but to think he’s going to get more PT next year then what 12 said is crazy!
    He’s a freshman it’s going to take time like it does for 90% of al freshman. It’s not fair to expect him to play as much as Wall, Knight, or the Harrison’s. Those kids are the special few not the norm that Cal has spoiled us with!

  23. Porcino's
    12:09 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    23. Jesus Christ, dude. Scroll back up. Take a look at the smile on Hawkins’ face. I’ll wait. You back? Good. Now, STFU. The kid put up 29 points on the Harrison twins. Who cares who starts and who doesn’t. THIS IS A 17 YEAR OLD KID. He can’t even VOTE yet. You know he reads KSR. Can’t you just keep your mouth shut for a little bit and let the kid enjoy what is probably the best day of his life so far?

  24. Culver
    12:19 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    He’s living the dream we all had growing up here in KY…congrats to him!

  25. Like Bledsoe??????
    12:29 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    24 in case you missed it this is the comment section,meaning leave a your comment. Just because it’s different then yours you think I should STFU. Grow up your not that important in the grand scheme of things. Again for people like you who are to slow to get what I said. I’m glad the kid came to UK and as I said before I think 99% of us on here should trade places with him. I just think all this talk of him being like Bledsoe and Miler is crazy and unfair to this kid
    You have to give him time to develope like most freshmen. The one and done players we have had is the exception not the norm.
    It’s funny how so many of you are willing to throw Polson under the bus even though he is also a Kentucky boy. If any body is a Kentucky boy who has worked his way to play above his talent level it’s JP no player has gotten more out of his skill set then Polson. Do you not think Polon reads KSR. are you raciest against whites! It’s the 21 century we judge people by their achievements not their skin color. You should be better then that

  26. WildcatFan
    12:29 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I love this kid already! Welcome to the University of Kentucky, my friend. Fasten your seatbelt….not only are YOU about to see the world, but the world is about to see YOU.

  27. Porcino's
    12:35 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    26. *cracks knuckles*

    *comma after before*
    *develop, not develope*
    *comma after exception*
    *talent level, it’s JP Capital “N”*
    *than, not then. This sentence isn’t about time*
    *question mark after KSR*
    *I don’t know what raciest is, but if you mean racist, I must hate myself. I’m white*
    *Already covered the then/than controversy*

    Whew. Damn. Now I need a break.

  28. jkiser
    12:42 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    I love this kid! A Kentucky boy who has dreamed of playing for UK all his life. A Mr. Basketball for Kentucky who just may stay four years! Remember Darius Miller!

  29. catsfrankfort
    12:44 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    23 & 26: No one is saying that they think he is going to start. Or play a lot. #20 never said anything about him playing more than tthe 5 min/game that you noted that #12 said. Pay attention man. And no one said he would be just like Bledsoe, just that Cal was reminded of Bledsoe’s athleticism. And really? Bringing race in to this? What the hell does that have to do with anything anyone at all has said??

  30. Like Bledsoe??????
    12:45 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    28 after all that and you still don’t know anything about basketball. This is a sports blog not ENG 101. The worst part is even with your proof reading I probably make about $50k more then you a year. LOL.

  31. Like Bledsoe??????
    12:49 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    28) If you need a loan to finish school just send me a E- mail and I would be happy to help you!

  32. Like Bledsoe??????
    12:51 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    30) Well I see no other reason why he would want to throw Polson under the bus for a player of about the same skill set! I’m just saying!!!

  33. catsfrankfort
    1:02 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    33) I agree with you in that Hawkins may follow a very similar trajectory to Polson in terms of his contributions to the team over the next few years. In fact, I even thought that Hawkins was being a little too pushy in practically demanding a scholarship, and that he should walk-on and then earn it like Polson did (But after discussing that idea with a friend, I realized that there are financial situations that may have been involved, which I know nothing about, which kind of changed my mind on that particular aspect). Anyway, I dont see much of throwing Polson under the bus. I was just commenting on the fact that you called out #14 & #20 and supported your statements by listing a bunch of things that are seemingly in response to what others have posted but I dont see where anyone has thrown Polson under the bus or said that they expect Hawkins to be used in the rotation next year. But this is a good conversation, I wanted to point out, so thanks for having this back-and-forth. It is nice to enjoy a good-spirited discussion with fellow cats fans!

  34. Like Bledsoe???????
    1:32 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    34 I don’t think the trashing of Polson has been that bad on this post but it has been for about 2 weeks! I just have a hard time getting the logic of saying we needed him because he would be a good 4 year Kentucky player by running off Hood or Polson with them both being 4 year Kentucky players
    Let’s be honest all 3 are about at the same skill level for the most part!

  35. Tom
    3:50 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink


  36. noel
    4:32 pm April 10, 2013 Permalink

    33 – Polson has received 3 years of free education on scholarship when he came here as a walk-on. Asking him to pay for his senior year is not some travesty for Polson. I’m sure when he agreed to come as a walkon he didn’t think he would end up getting 3 of 4 years paid.

    I don’t see the logic in passing on a Kentucky Mr. Basketball who can provide quality depth as a four year player just because you don’t want Polson to have to be a walk-on for his final season.

  37. ashley's kitty
    6:59 am April 11, 2013 Permalink

    I like our team coming in . If we have to open a spot for AW what a great problem to have………….