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Dominique Hawkins says it will “be really fun” to play at Kentucky

By KEITH TAYLOR, Winchester Sun

RICHMOND — It’s no secret Dominique Hawkins wanted to play basketball at the University of Kentucky. This morning, the Madison Central standout made it official after announcing his plans to sign with the Wildcats in front of his family, friends and classmates during an assembly at the school.

Hawkins turned down offers from Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee Tech, Valparasio, Western Kentucky, Murray State and Morehead State to sign with Kentucky. Butler coach Brad Stevens showed interest in Hawkins earlier this week, but Hawkins already had Kentucky penciled in as his school of choice. Louisville coach Rick Pitino offered Hawkins a prefered status as a walk-on. The Cardinals defeated Michigan to win the school’s third national championship Monday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

By that time Hawkins had already made up his mind.

Hawkins said he received a scholarship offer the week after he led Madison Central to the school’s first state title. The Wildcats visited the State Capital and later visited a Kentucky practice session on March 12.

“It’s a a big relief,” Hawkins said after making his choice publicly known. “So much relief was off of me once I (made the announcement). It was so much better once I let it out.”

Hawkins said he received the offer from Kentucky coach John Calipari following the visit to the Joe Craft Center.

“I was shocked,” recalled. “

Hawkins joins a recruiting class that features six McDonald’s All-Americans. Twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Julius Randle and Derek Willis have already signed with Kentucky. Last week, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer announced they would return next season. Archie Goodwin has opted to enter the NBA Draft, while Ryan Harrow will transfer to Georgia State after the current semester ends.

“I’m going to compete as hard as I can,” Hawkins said. “Whatever coach Cal wants me to do, I am going to do it. Anything I can do to help the team, I am going to just do it. The practices are going to be more competitive than the games. There is so much talent on the team and everybody is great. I’m just looking forward to playing with them.”

Hawkins was named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball after leading the Indians to a 32-5 record and the school’s first state title last month. The Wildcats began showing interest in Hawkins during the boys Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena. Kentucky coach John Calipari attended three games, while assistant coach Orlando Antigua watched all four of Central’s games in the five-day state tournament.

During the Indians’ successful run in the state event, Hawkins tallied 107 points in four games for an average of 26.4 points per game, and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. The senior guard scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds in the Indians’ exciting 65-64 triumph over Ballard in the state finals.

He also was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 20.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game during his senior campaign.

Hawkins will compete in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star game this weekend at Thomas More College. He is the first Madison Central player to ink with the Wildcats since Marquis Estill, his cousin, signed a scholarship after leading the Indians to the Sweet Sixteen in 1999.

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12 comments

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  1. LindaS

    The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky Home!
    Welcome Mr. Basketball to the land of the blue and white.
    You are a Wildcat, congrats!

  2. Patrick Moores

    Congratulaqtions Dominique! You are now on a journey towards becoming a legend in Kentucky that will open doors for you for the rest of your life. Step through them wisely.

  3. Karen Sprinkle

    This is great news! I totally agree with the statement that the practices will be more competitive than (most) games.

  4. Frank nHall

    James Young was left of the six All-Americans coming next year. He could lead the Cats in points scored next year. He is the best shooter coming.

  5. Theresa Crow

    So thrilled that Dominque Hawkins is a Wildcat! In addition to talent, he brings with him the hopes and dreams of all boys growing up in the Bluegrass State. Welcome aboard–BBN is thrilled!

  6. BobbyBlue

    Will play very little,but improve a lot, behind the Harrisons and Polson this coming season,and Mudiay next season,but I see him as the second coming of Anthony Epps,and we all know how that went down. Don’t sleep on this kid,from my home town, in year two.

    1. larryvaught

      Amen Bobby Blue. Believe Hawkins will be big contributor for Cats and could help next year

  7. Judi Cole

    A great day in the Bluegrass state! I’m thrilled for Dominigue that he is achieving his dreams and playing for BBN. He will be an important addition to the team.

  8. LARRY M

    The Dominique Hawkins situation brings to mind a former UK All American from the past. The way he has suddenly burst on the scene is reminicent of Johnny Cox from Hazard. I don’t recall that anybody much had heard of him until “Cox’s Army” as they called themselves swept through the sweet 16 and Coach Rupp took notice and gave him a scholly. This is a great story and another dream come true for a native Kentuckian. God bless him and I know the BBN wishes him nothing but the best in his future at UK.

  9. eddie

    proud of of the kid from richmond ky i know he will represent his state and city very well congrats kid

  10. Jan in Indiana

    A lot of boys in the state of Kentucky ( and some I know in Indiana ) grow up dreaming of wearing the Blue and White and being a Wildcat, it must be thrilling for that dream to come true. Welcome to BBN Dominique Hawkins, we are very happy you have joined the team.

  11. Jim

    Congrats Nique!

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