6’1″, 170 lbs.
247: 3-star, 173rd best player in the country, 44th best PG, 2nd best player in the state of KY
What’s Kentucky getting: “A tough-nosed point guard.” That’s how Hawkins described himself to reporters this morning. Hawkins burst onto the scene during the Sweet 16 last month, refusing to let his team lose and leading them to the State Championship. In four games at Rupp Arena, Hawkins scored 107 points and won MVP honors with Calipari and his staff watching in the stands. A few days after his team won the title, they were invited to watch UK practice and Hawkins got the offer he’s been waiting for his whole life.
Hawkins’ dominant Sweet 16 run wasn’t a fluke; in December, he score 29 points against his future teammates the Harrison Twins, along with 56 points in two games against Derek Willis’ Bullitt East and 58 points in Madison Central’s two games against Ballard. Many have called Hawkins a quicker Anthony Epps, and Calipari compared him to Eric Bledsoe in terms of strength and physical play.
Why Kentucky needs him: In addition to some serious skills on the court, Hawkins has the team mentality, heart, and toughness Kentucky so desperately needs, along with a heavy sense of perspective and appreciation. Sure, he may not be a five-star, but he understands what it means to wear the Kentucky jersey–he’s been dreaming of it his entire life: “Since I was a little kid – I grew up as a Kentucky fan. It’s been my dream school.”
Don’t think for a second that Hawkins will get lost in the bevy of all-stars coming in. Hawkins has proved he can hold his own against Andrew Harrison, and while he may not start, just having him at practice to compete against the Harrisons will make everyone better. Plus, he’ll be around for a few years, so he’ll provide some crucial continuity from team to team. Hawkins can ease the transition from elite PG to elite PG and help each one learn the Calipari system, all while being a valuable veteran presence.
See him in person: Hawkins will join fellow Kentucky born Wildcat Derek Willis in the Kentucky Derby Classic on April 19th and will also represent the state in the Kentucky/Ohio All-Star game in Crestview Hills, Kentucky this weekend.
Watch him work: