Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Utica's Hawkins Continues To Develop As Double Duty Source

Even before he emerged into one of the fastest-rising mid-major recruits in the country, Jalen Hawkins embodied the two-way toughness of a New York guard.

Hawkins, who would stake his claim as one of the most prolific scorers in New York State history while at Utica-Proctor, spent the past year on the prep route.

 Less relied on to manufacture points, Hawkins wound up devoting more attention to his defensive energy. Applying pressure all across the court, Hawkins routinely challenged himself to neutralize high-scoring guards.

Following a commendable spring, Hawkins’ sustained his increased level of play at Peach Jam. Hawkins averaged 11.5 points, 5.2 boards and 2.2 steals.

Once again, Hawkins relished the role of locking up on upper-echelon recruits throughout the event. He's made a major transformation after being groomed as strictly a go-to-guy his first three years.

The high-energy guard averaged 32 points as a junior at Proctor, never once dipping below his scoring average in league games. He shot 51 percent, scoring a good deal of his points on hard drives and crafty, acrobatic finishes knifing through traffic.  
 Hawkins developed a dependable deep 3-point game, consistently drawing box-and-ones and various junk defenses.

As a senior, Hawkins opted to pursue the prep route. Citing a desire to face national competition and play a schedule featuring prized recruits, Hawkins transformed his role at now defunct City United Reach Basketball Academy (N.H.) and The Conrad Academy (FL).

During his time on the prep scene, Hakwins had the chore of guarding proven scorers such as Putnam Science’s Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky), The Rock School’s Darius Days, and 22 Feet Academy’s Hamidou Diallo (Cincinnati).

“Basically, my role changed from scoring and go-to scorer to a guy willing to guard the other team’s best player,” said Hawkins, who will attend Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.) for a post-graduate season.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to get the team to win. At the end of the day, it’s all about that “W” and that’s all that matters to me so it wasn’t really a transition.”