As we enter the fall, the 2022-23 basketball season preparation officially begins for sophomore guard Elijah Hawkins.
The D.C. native is coming off an outstanding freshman campaign where he averaged 13.0 points per game, notched 5.6 assists, and was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Rookie of the Year.
Even with those impressive stats and accolades, the excitement that Hawkins brings to a game can only be fully grasped in person.
“Elijah Hawkins’ game…tough, gritty, electric, I think those are three characteristics I would use to describe his game, and he was only a freshman,” said Derek Bryant, assistant athletic director for media relations and sports information at Howard University.
As Hawkins heads into his sophomore season, he is stepping into a more significant role with the departure of Tai Bibbs, Randall Brumant, and Kyle Foster, who at one point led the nation in three-point field goal percentage. It can be seen through Hawkins’ aspirations for this upcoming season that while he is looking forward to achieving personal success, he is laser-focused on leading his team to new heights.
“Some personal goals I have for myself are leading the NCAA in assists and earning MEAC Player of the Year. Team-wise we plan on winning the MEAC this year and competing in March Madness,” Hawkins said.
Given the new lineup, Hawkins is taking his leadership role more seriously, knowing that he will have to step up more as a player and as a leader. This past summer was one of growth for many facets of Hawkins’ game.
Over the summer, Hawkins spent time fine-tuning his skills in the gym and playing in highly competitive local basketball leagues. He also took time to focus on sharpening his mindset to be the best player he could be.
“I feel like I got better and grew in every attribute, not only attributes but my mindset and thought process about things. I played in the Kenner League for a little bit but I was really trying to focus on myself and what I need to do to be the best version of myself on the court. I really tried to key in on making my jump shot more consistent and really just sharpening all my tools in terms of ball handling, finishing, touch shots, etc.,” Hawkins said.
Being mentally strong separates the best from the rest in basketball. As a D.C native, Hawkins has the unique competitive advantage of having his support system at every game bringing him peace of mind as he performs. To be able to play for Howard University and its rich tradition while also being able to represent his hometown is a goal that Hawkins has been working toward for many years.
“It’s an accomplished goal of mine being able to play in my city and having my family at every game. Also to have the opportunity to play a big role in changing the narrative of Howard Basketball,” Hawkins added.
Copy edited by Alana Matthew