Derek Hawthorne is used to overcoming some adversity. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he isn’t worried about not getting a full prep for basketball season. He has to finish starting as quarterback for Pike High School first.
“It’s a little bit hard (to transition), but football is another thing I like to do, but basketball is my main sport and my first sport,” Hawthorne said. “I like the two very well, and it’s just another sport to keep me in shape and have fun to see what I can do.”
It isn’t like Hawthorne hasn’t faced that already this past summer. He didn’t get an immediate start for the AAU season playing with Indy Hoosiers either. This put the No. 94 rated prospect on the Prep Hoops Indiana Top 180 behind, but he was still able to garner attention from colleges.
He received offers from Div. II Rockhurst University in Missouri and from junior college Florida SouthWestern State.
The coaches told him they liked his abilities as a combo guard, ball handling and ability to shoot.
“It felt great to be noticed by some coaches, college coaches and I was just like ‘Now it’s time to get a D-1 offer,’ so I have to work harder,” Hawthorne said.
The time to work on what he needs to improve is minimal as he suits up for football practice everyday.
Still, he has found time to get into the gym and practice his shooting and other skills. He also is taking this time to work on keeping his own emotions in control and those of his teammates on the field and on the court.
“Coaches said they want me being more vocal and not showing an attitude on court when something goes wrong,” Hawthorne said. “So working on being more of a leader and making sure everything stays well with the team, and if we face some controversy we just get back at what we do.”