UK’s Hawkins playing for his supportive hometown

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Kentucky senior Dominique Hawkins is a 2013 graduate of Madison Central High School (Keith Taylor Photo)

MEMPHIS — Kentucky senior Dominique Hawkins knows his career at Kentucky is winding down. He just doesn’t want it to end this weekend.

“I believe we can reach the national championship game,” Hawkins said. “I haven’t been thinking about (my career coming to and end) lately. It’s been been a fun ride. I love this team and we have a great brotherhood going on.”

Hawkins, who scored 11 points and tied a career-high with three 3-pointers in Kentucky’s 86-75 win over UCLA Friday night, is looking forward to the team’s showdown against top-seeded North Carolina in the South Region finals Sunday at FedExForum.

“It’s going to be a good game tomorrow,” Hawkins said. “We know we’re going to see an excellent team and we know they rebound the ball.”

Hawkins thinks rebounding will be a key for the Wildcats in the region showdown between the two teams. The Wildcats defeated North Carolina 103-100 earlier this season in Las Vegas.

“Rebounding is exactly the key,” Hawkins said. “They’re the best rebounding team in the country and we’ve got to find out a way to stop their strengths. We’re just going to come out and play to the next of our abilities and hopefully advance.”

Hawkins also is hopeful teammate Malik Monk can get the hot-hand like he did in the first outing between the two teams. Monk scored a career-high 47 points against the Tar Heels, a performance that baffled North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

“Usually people don’t get 47 points every night,” Hawkins said. “Hopefully he does have a good game. We do rely on him scoring a lot of points for us.”

Hawkins named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball after leading Madison Central High School to the state championship in 2013, is pleased his hometown is cheering him on during the last phase of his career with the Wildcats.

“I’m blessed to have fan support like that,” he said. “They mean the world to me and it’s my hometown. I always love it when I go back (home) because everybody just supports me and they (always) ask me if I’m having a good day and how (basketball) is going. To be able to play in these last few games, I feel like I’m playing for them.”

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One Comment

  1. Dorothy Wilson says:

    We watched Dominique play at Madison Central a lot along with our grandson. So happy for him and his time at U of K. They truly had a good year and a coach that can’t be beat. We wish him the very best in the future. Remember that you can do whatever you want to do. Wishing you the very best.

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