Saturday, June 10, 2023
HomeSportsUConn's Hawkins riding title high to draft entry

UConn’s Hawkins riding title high to draft entry


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

UConn sophomore Jordan Hawkins will enter the 2023 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility, he told Malika Andrews on ESPN’s “NBA Today” on Friday.

“Hearing my name called on draft night will be a blessing,” Hawkins said. “I worked so hard for this, me and my dad, we’ve been through so much.

“When I first stepped on campus in Storrs, I was a little kid, just 160 pounds. I didn’t know the college game. Coach [Dan] Hurley threw me into the fire. He guided me through it. It means the world for me having him, having this opportunity. He told me sophomore year I need to step my game up, make a name for myself. It’s amazing what we did together as a team.”

Hawkins, the No. 15 prospect in ESPN’s draft projections, was named first-team All-Big East after a breakout season in which he averaged 16.2 points in 29.4 minutes per game and shot 38.8% from 3.

He helped catapult UConn to a national championship with a scintillating run through the NCAA tournament in which he made 21-for-42 3-pointers as the Huskies won all six games by double digits. Hawkins had 16 points in the championship game against San Diego State while playing through a stomach bug during the Final Four.

“I had the highest expectations for us as a team,” Hawkins said. “We had a great team coming back. Coach Hurley always says that the big-time players step up in March. I look at myself as a big-time player. I had to make that jump. My teammates did the same thing. We did a hell of a job on both ends. They were amazing.

“The last few days have been insane. We got back on campus, the whole school was waiting for us. I haven’t had much time to sleep. It’s been a crazy 36 hours. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Hawkins has an NBA-ready skill as one of the most prolific shooters in this draft class, showing elite range, footwork and body control running off screens, pulling up off the dribble or rising up behind dribble handoffs with a quick release. He made strides with his defense, passing and shot creation this season, areas where scouts wanted to see growth.

“Shooting is my superpower,” Hawkins said. “There are a lot of ball-dominant guys in the NBA who can create their own [shot]. I can be a knockdown shooter and play a significant role right away. As time moves on, I can develop and become an even bigger piece of the rotation, because I know I’m more than just a shooter. There’s more to my game, but I have to prove it to people.”

Born in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Hawkins was named his state’s Gatorade player of the year as a high school senior at DeMatha Catholic. LSU star Angel Reese is his cousin, and she also won a national championship this week.

“I remember we were kids in D.C., going around to monuments, playing basketball at cookouts,” Hawkins said. “It’s crazy just seeing our family both being in this situation. It’s amazing.”

The NBA draft combine will be held May 15-21 in Chicago, and the draft will be June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.

Source link

Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest posts

Latest posts