Posted On: 08/28/20 2:49 PM
The summer of 2020 has been a unique one to say the least. As we approach the end of August, players experienced no live evaluation period and largely have depeneded on live streams and other film to attract coach’s attention. One player that would’ve taken complete advantage of live evaluation periods is 2021 point guard Elijah HawkinsElijahHawkins5'9" | PGDeMatha | 2021StateMD.
Since coaches couldn’t attend games/events in person, they have to rely on what they see through film, which can be tough to decipher a player’s true size, speed and athleticism. What that should mean is for coaches to depend on the givens that a player presents. For Hawkins, that’s the ability to lead a team and win ball games.
After all, Hawkins did help lead DeMatha to a 30-3 overall record that included the WCAC title and being considered a top five team in the country. Being trusted as the floor general alongside the likes of Earl TimberlakeEarlTimberlake6'6" | SFDeMatha | 2020State#29NationMD (Miami), Hunter DickinsonHunterDickinson7'2" | CDeMatha | 2020State#50NationMD (Michigan), 2021 Jordan HawkinsJordanHawkins6'5" | SFDeMatha | 2021State#44NationMD (UConn commit) and a list of other highly recruited prospects takes high IQ and commitment to a role.
“My job was to just make plays, facilitate and run the team. Also just be a leader both on and off the court. Make sure everybody is in their right spots and doing what they need to do. I also was expected to make open shots when they came my way,” Hawkins told Prep Hoops in a recent interview.
The majority of the defense’s attention went into scheming against Timberlake and Dickinson, so when Hawkins would step up big like he did routinely throughout the 2019-20 season, it really chipped into making DeMatha the national powerhouse that they were regarded as. But it wasn’t just on the offensive side of the ball where Hawkins was expected to produce. The 5-foot-9 guard is one of the best on-ball defenders you’ll find in the DMV and has a strong argument as being at the very top.
“You just have to have a killer mindset,” Hawkins said as he reflected on his mentality defensively. “You have to hate when people score on you or just think it’s okay to just go at you.You just have to make sure that they understand it’s not going to be sweet when they play you.”
You can see the tenacious defense that Hawkins brings as he did against Kentucky-bound Devin Askew:
— Godfidence ???? (@eslimee_) January 25, 2020
Hawkins has translated his energy and production to his play in the I-95 Coalition League with New World. Still supplying elite on-ball defense, Hawkins has also shown an improved scoring ability from all three levels. He boasts a stat line of 13.2 points, 4.5 assists four rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
DeMatha returns another stout roster for 2020-21, but given that we have a season this winter, look for Hawkins to take on an increased role as a senior.
“I pretty much have to way more things that I did last year and look to score a lot with Earl and Hunter gone, but also balance being a distributor and still running the team right,” Hawkins said.
The most shocking part about Hawkins is his recruitment and the fact that he doesn’t hold any offers at the moment. He was offered by IUPUI before a coaching change was made and while he’s hearing from the likes of UMBC, James Madison, UNC-Greensboro, VMI, VCU and West Virginia, none have extended offers to this point.
All of the characteristics coaches love their point guards to have is what Hawkins offers. While he may be on the smaller side, the impact he makes on the defensive end and his knack for winning make up for any shortcomings.
Hawkins on what he’ll bring to a college program:
“I bring winning. I know how to win. I’ve been winning my whole life. I’ll bring energy and I’m going to be a leader and correct people when they’re doing stuff wrong.”