By JAMI YOUNG
When Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins were in Pikeville for a stop on their “Kentucky Boys Tour” to sign autographs, I got to spend time with them and they answered questions about their careers and future.
Here is what Hawkins had to say.
Question: What is your most memorable game during your career at Kentucky?
Hawkins: “I would say my junior year against Louisville. It was a game when I felt like I was the hero and I was able to save the game for us to win.”
Question: Who is your favorite NBA player of all time and why?
Hawkins: “I’m going to say Kobe Bryant. Just because of his competitive spirit. He plays with such aggressiveness and has a will to win.”
Question: How would you describe the Big Blue Nation in your own words?
Hawkins: “It’s indescribable to be honest. There’s nothing like it. It’s people who bleed blue and support the basketball team to another level that you can’t really describe.”
Question: What type of advice would you give to the incoming freshmen on how to adjust to the life of a Kentucky basketball player?”
“I would say off the court is the biggest adjustment to the fans. They are going to want pictures and signings, but you just need to learn to love the fans as much as you can.”
Question: What is your craziest Big Blue Nation experience?
Hawkins: “I would say my freshmen year for our tournament run when Aaron Harrison was hitting all those buzzer beater shots.”
Question: What one word would you use to describe this team and why?
Hawkins: “Very talented. Everybody on the floor had a different style of playing, but everyone was so athletic on this team.”
Question: Could you describe to me the feeling of growing up in Kentucky, winning Mr. Basketball and then receiving the opportunity to wear the Kentucky jersey?
Hawkins: “It meant a lot to me. It’s always been my dream to play for Kentucky. I didn’t know I was going to play for Kentucky until I won that state title and playing for them was a blessing for four years. There’s nothing that I would trade it for.”
Question: Last words to the BBN?
“That I definitely loved the time that I was here. I love their support and without them I don’t think I would be the player that I am.”
Question: What are your future plans?
Hawkins: “Definitely to go to the next level and play basketball somewhere.”