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I love me some Dominique Hawkins

He’s not the biggest guy on the team. He’s not the fastest guy on the team. He’s not the most athletic guy on the team. He wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American; college coaches weren’t knocking his door down in high school; and there were 192 other basketball prospects ranked ahead of him in his graduating class. Hell, Coach Cal didn’t even get his name right after the Providence game. But, dammit, I love me some Dominique Hawkins.

The kid from Richmond, a lifelong fan of the Cats, has done more this season than any of us ever imagined. Expectations of him couldn’t have been lower entering the season; he was just the “Kentucky boy” we were thrilled to see get an offer, a guy we said “might” contribute by the time he’s a junior or senior.

But Dominique Hawkins didn’t settle for the local kid role when he was handed his University of Kentucky basketball jersey. Dominique Hawkins took his jersey and went to work, setting the example in the gym for those “one-and-done” guys in front of him. He wasn’t intimidated by his competition in practice when they all arrived on campus. He didn’t come to Lexington to hold a clipboard, grab a water, or collect the towels. Dominique Hawkins came here to play, and Dominique Hawkins is playing. He’s playing his ass off.

If you only go by box scores, no, Dominique Hawkins hasn’t made many contributions this season. He’s averaging 1.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 0.8 assists through 12 games. But if you watched those 12 games, you know Dominique Hawkins makes his presence known on both ends of the floor. Whether it’s D’ing up when the Harrisons aren’t, diving on the floor for a loose ball, or keeping the ball alive for someone else to grab an offensive rebound, Hawkins is doing all the little things that everyone should be doing. He plays with heart on every single possession, never taking a play off or resting back on his heels. We saw that again last night against Louisville, and all of us, his coach included, noticed.

“Dominique went in and made two or three plays just by hustle next to the goal,” Coach Cal said in his postgame press conference. “Now, why aren’t my 6’6′ guards doing that?  He’s in there, just fighting like crazy, and it’s a great lesson for us.  You know, because if we can get our whole team playing that way, we become pretty good.”

“Pretty good” is an understatement. If the other, more talented guys played with half of the energy and passion Dominique Hawkins exudes, Kentucky is damn near unstoppable. That’s why we need to see more Dominique Hawkins going forward. We need to see more Dominique Hawkins from everyone.

And as good as he’s been thus far, Hawkins is never going to win a game for Kentucky. It’s very unlikely he’ll ever see the starting lineup this year. He’s not going to lead the team in scoring and the offense will never flow through him. But, dammit, I love me some Dominique Hawkins.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

48 Comments for I love me some Dominique Hawkins



  1. Steve
    11:17 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Drew you and I think the same way! I was very proud of the Hawkins kid! He works his ass off, & I think he’s going to have his games this year!



  2. Andrew
    11:19 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    He also give us a little better ball movement on offense… It will be fun watching he develop as a player.



  3. whodat
    11:24 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    great article… my sentiments exactly



  4. Burr
    11:24 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    RKY FTW!



  5. tom
    11:28 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Sounds like Jarod Polson. He’s done everything Cal has asked.
    Even given up his # and he doesn’t even get playing time against
    the bad teams. Only thing that bugs me about Cal.



    • Jarvis Redwine
      11:29 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

      I love Polson but he can’t play defense. Very valuable player for the team in spot situations.



    • Bigbluedaddy
      11:40 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

      I totally agree….polson can’t guard elite athletes. Not a knock on him, he has great heart and attitude. But if you put him against Russ Smith, Russ goes for 45.



  6. combs
    11:36 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with all the way, except him not winning a game for us,,,he will win many… games for us.



  7. JasonE
    11:40 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    “He’s not going to lead the team in scoring and the offense” , but he is leading the team in effort, which is invaluable to this team. Love this kid’s heart along with his grit and determination. Keep it up Dominique! You’re making the Bluegrass proud!

    We need to come up with a nickname for him…how about Dominique “True Grit” Hawkins. Anyone else have suggestions?



    • Dr. Tom
      11:48 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

      How about “Hawk”.



    • Sarah
      1:07 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      He was Dhawk in highschool



    • BBN
      3:14 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      He has always gone by Dhawk. It’s his twitter name as well.



  8. Come on
    11:43 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Rudy , Rudy, Rudy



  9. Jstyls
    11:49 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    I look for Hawkins to end up being the Darius Miller of the future. He will be key 2 or 3 years from now as a seasoned player. Good things from Hawkins to come.



  10. sincitycat
    11:51 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    The (Ball) Hawk is playing for the name on the front of the jersey and he understands the privilege of doing so. He is my favorite player on my Wildcat team.



  11. Steve
    11:51 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Dominique “Balls” Hawkins



  12. Doubting Thomas
    11:56 am December 29, 2013 Permalink

    There a couple other players that don’t defend well. Hawkins and Polson deserve playing time. They earn it with their hustle. This team seems to need a little spark to get them going. Polson and Hawkins can provide it. Polson offers excellent floor leadership also. Go Cats!!!!



    • jpg
      12:09 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      I love Hawkins, especially on the defensive end! The kid just brings it every game. He will be a great player to have for the coming years.

      I think Polson should get a little more playing time. Polson might not be the best defender, but the kid does understand how to run the offense pretty well, and will get everyone involved. He rarely does anything that negatively impacts the team when he is on the floor.



    • Good Point
      12:24 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      Polson will be used a teaching tool, but not likely for much longer. Cal will only bring him in periodically to show Andrew what he should be doing if he really screws up, but not for much else. I love Polson, but its over for him. He’s a senior. Hawkins is seeing all of his minutes because hes a much better defender and an undeveloped/inexperienced player who has a much higher ceiling.

      And personally, lets be honest, as a Kentucky kid, Id love to see Hawkins give Ullis a run for his money for PT next year. It will make everyone involved much better off, regardless. I expect this kid to be a contributor, not just a defensive stopper, in years to come. And for a kid like him, that only comes with experience.



  13. jboy
    12:02 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Is Darius still on a pro roster? Is he hurt? Released?



    • MOCat Fan
      12:31 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      He is starting to get time for the Pelicans.



    • Daniel
      12:37 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      He was injured to start the season.. remember he had to sit out for the nba preseason game in Rupp arena.. now he’s back and playing with the pelicans



    • Pancreas
      12:38 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      Darius has a nice 11 point game on Friday. Took 4 three’s and made all of them, including a sweet 4-point play. He’s healthy again and looks like he’ll be getting ~15 minutes a game.



    • Pancreas
      12:38 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      Whoops typo, he was 3-4 from three.



  14. LansingCat
    12:07 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    “.., Hawkins is never going to win a game for Kentucky.”

    First of all, Drew, nice post. I agree with all of it. Love this kiddo coming into the game and just basically causing havoc. He is a mayhem maker, and teams don’t think he can do what he does.

    As far as my above quote from your post, if D.H. reads this, it’ll likely piss him off and he will try to prove you wrong. So much heart from him. I can already envision myself getting misty eyed for his senior night game.



    • jpg
      12:10 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      I think Drew is just talking about this year….At least I think so. Hawkins will have plenty of chances to beast up down the line.



  15. Hendo Blue
    12:22 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Agree with you Drew…disagree with 14. I think he will win games for us. May be a steal or a rebound at the end of a game. Or a free throw. His moment will come. His hard work is and will pay off for the team.



  16. bigblue091812
    12:29 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    I’m proud and happy with the effort from the whole team and Hawkins does brings the effort and heart a true Kentucky kid will. I stated that the key to us winning would be the twins, Young and Alex as a group, sorry I left out Hawkins. Jones went off in the first half and kept LOSERVILLE in the game with 15 only to score just 3 in the second half, I know smith had a decent second half but as long as it takes him that many shots to do so they’re going to struggle, they shot something like 14-38 combined. The combo of Johnson, Randle, WCS and Alex was far superior to UL’s inside players, I’m sure Ware knows we exist this morning. CAL 5 SCUM BAG 1.



    • #L1C5
      2:10 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      Agree, can’t wait for this team to play again.
      #L1C5



  17. RKY
    12:35 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    To paraphrase Los P:

    ‘Rich City cats stay tough like bone grizzle.’

    Keep up the hard work Dominique! Madison County is behind you.



  18. Ole boy joe eaton
    12:40 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Hawkins has heart and drive. Hasn’t been spoiled like the one and dones. I’m sure he has worked hard his whole life to get where he’s at. Not just been told by everyone how good he is.



  19. J A Brooks
    12:41 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    A lot of people also said WCS might contribute by his junior or senior year. some said he would only ever have an Eloy Vargas type contribution… Which was absurd but regardless…

    As for Hawkins if anyone saw him play vs the Harrison’s his senior year they should’ve known he could contribute even this year… Hes just a flst out junkyard dog

    Going into next year I think the point is kind of a committee with ullis playing about 60% to Hawkins 40% but ullis has a big offensive advantage and a really great passer. We really haven’t had a point like him during cals era



  20. Elk
    12:49 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Dominique is playing for Kentucky, whereas the others are just putting on a show for NBA scouts. That’s why in 10 years, people are still going to be talking about Hawkins while all of the ‘superstars’ will just be a distant memory.



    • Just saying
      1:04 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      I hate that stereotype about the one and dones. Was MKG just putting on a show for the NBA? People are not still going to talk about John wall ten years from now? James Young, who grew up a UK fan because of Tayshaun, doesn’t care about the man’s on the front?



  21. STOOPS TROOPS
    12:55 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Put him in to get fouled and shoot FT’s at the end of games. His FT stroke looked much better than Andrew’s, though DH’s second swish was negated by a lane violation.



    • Bob Sugar
      1:05 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

      Agreed. He knocked those ft down with confidence.



  22. BBN Dave Grohl
    12:59 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Hawkins and Willis are going to be solid 4-year guys and their development is going to be a lot of fun to watch



  23. JustMike
    1:08 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Before Hawkins graduates he’ll be a key part of the team. It’s obvious that he’s impressed Cal and that Cal has some long range plans for him. My prediction is, he’ll be the starting point guard his Junior year.



  24. Rod Strickland's Secret Smile
    1:09 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    I can’t help thinking of Anthony Epps when I watch Hawkins – a gritty six foot point guard from Kentucky who helps the team more than most people expected, including the coach. But really, their games are very different, at least at this stage. Epps was a barely adequate defender but a good shooter and great passer who made the offense hum – really, an upgraded Polson type. Hawkins right now is managing the offense just well enough to stay in the game and is hardly shooting at all. He’s on the court because he’s a pretty tough perimeter defender who makes hustle plays. I enjoy him now and I’m excited about the player he can become in a couple of years.

    There’s no reason people have to like Hawkins OR one-and-dones. It’s fine to like both. I remember Cousins, Wall, Bledsoe, Knight, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Noel quite well, and plan to for years to come. There’s plenty of room for all these guys.



  25. JDub421
    1:48 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Who doesn’t love Hawk. He doesn’t have any quit in him. If one of the other guards starts playing crappy defense, I find myself yelling at the TV, “That’s it Cal, put Hawk in!”



  26. Correction
    2:38 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Only the young Cal-koolaid-drinkers didn’t expect anything from him. He’s conditioned them to only see physical talent. The rest of us have seen dozens of players like him play at UK. We were the one’s on here screaming to give him a scholarship when it looked like he wasn’t going to get one. If a couple of guys don’t turn us down he isn’t even on the team. And he’s a guy that wears the jersey with pride and will be on the team for several years. With Ulis only 5’9″ he’s gonna have a hard time going on to the NBA. So we could potentially have two quality PGs for the next 4 years. Of course Cal will probably recruit a one-and-done during that time and bench both of them for a freshman.



  27. BBN
    3:29 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Dominique will be remembered for his play at Kentucky. He brings so much to the table and has done great this season! But as someone who has watched him play for years I am not shocked at all by the way he has played. I honestly expect more from him on the offensive end. He sometimes gives away opportunities he has to take advantage of an open lane to drive and pull up for a jump shot or floater. I understand that his role is to play fire defense and bring energy and not worry about scoring but I do think he needs to be a little bit more offensive minded. He has the ability. He also needs to feel comfortable setting up and running the offense because I know he can. I don’t know if his lack of offensive confidence is because of him or Cal or both but I hope it gets better as the year goes on. He will be a huge factor next year. It’s hard for him to expect to be at the level of 6’6 guards like the Harrison’s and Young but he will be able to compete with Ullis and I would venture to guess that they will fight hard for that starting spot. But the Cats looked great last night, like a title worthy team. Hope they keep it up! Go D-Hawk!!!



  28. BBN
    3:30 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    Dominique will be remembered for his play at Kentucky. He brings so much to the table and has done great this season! But as someone who has watched him play for years I am not shocked at all by the way he has played. I honestly expect more from him on the offensive end. He sometimes gives away opportunities he has to take advantage of an open lane to drive and pull up for a jump shot or floater. I understand that his role is to play fire defense and bring energy and not worry about scoring but I do think he needs to be a little bit more offensive minded. He has the ability. He also needs to feel comfortable setting up and running the offense because I know he can. I don’t know if his lack of offensive confidence is because of him or Cal or both but I hope it gets better as the year goes on. He will be a huge factor next year. It’s hard for him to expect to be at the level of 6’6 guards like the Harrison’s and Young but he will be able to compete with Ullis and I would venture to guess that they will fight hard for that starting spot. But the Cats looked great last night, like a title worthy team. Hope they keep it up!



  29. Mc
    4:37 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    He’s playing for the jersey not the name. Need more of him



  30. lonnieb
    4:58 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    He should not play if he is afraid to shoot….they kick it out on double teams and he just stands there and passes back to top of key



  31. 42***
    6:09 pm December 29, 2013 Permalink

    “He’s not the biggest guy on the team. He’s not the fastest guy on the team. He’s not the most athletic guy on the team.”

    I definitely think he’s the fastest guy on the team. No doubt.



    • Rockfield, KY
      10:05 am December 30, 2013 Permalink

      He may be the most athletic guy on the team. He’s probably the fastest and he can punch it pretty hard at only 6 ft tall. That’s incredible athleticism.



  32. Walt
    8:26 am December 30, 2013 Permalink

    Won’t win games for us?

    There’s not one player in a hundred who understands the value of defense, including the author of this article apparently. What I will say is that the “intangibles” players like Hawkins or MKG bring are called “intangibles” for a reason. I guess the non quantitativeness of leadership and inspiration prevent pundits from giving credit to REAL contributors. Hawkins’ contributions are indeed real, and I venture to say he has ALREADY won games for us by his example, which inspires others around him to pick up their hustle game a notch or two.