Javontae Hawkins is a 26 year old 196cm forward from Huntigton, West Virginia playing his third professional season and first with the Crailsheim Merlins currently averaging 16,4ppg, 4,6rpg and 1,4apg. Last season he played with Holargos B.C. (Greece-A1) playing 29 games averaging 11.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 53.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.5%. As a rookie he played with the Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 54 games averaging 14.3ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 54.9%, 3PT: 40.6%, FT: 79.9%. He played NCAA basketball at three schools with S Florida from 2012-2014 playing 54 NCAA games, then had his break out season with Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) playing 30 games averaging 17.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 76.5% and finished at Fordham (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 35.2%, FT: 84.3%. He and Eurobasket have teamed up for a diary from the BBL tournament in Munich
You couldn’t play in the game against ratiopharm Ulm due to a broken finger. How are you doing and what is the status of the injury?
I fractured my thumb in game against Bayern Munich. Right now I’m in a healing process physically and since I can’t be out there to play I’m still apart of the team and I’m going to do everything I can to bring positive energy during the games
How disappointed are you that you most likely won’t be playing at the tournament in Munich any more? It seems like the Merlins have suffered a lot of misfortune in Munich.
I’m not really disappointed. I really feel like everything happens for a reason. This is the perfect time for the younger guys like Liam, Aleksa and Vladan to get real game time repetition and experience and a time for me to be in their shoes and cheer them on and give them the confidence because they really deserve to know what it feels like to play against the best competition
Despite the tough 92-80 loss against Ulm, how proud are you of how the team played without so many key players?
I am very proud of the team. Each guy fought very hard and they stuck to the principles that Tuomas instilled from day 1. Yes, we came up short but we fought and left it all on the floor
How tough was it having to sit and watch the game? When you sit and watch a game and not play, is a player able to notice things different then if he was in the competitive focus on the court?
. Like I mentioned before I find joy in this time to sit and watch due to injury because it allows you to be a teammate on a teaching level. It allows you to talk to your teammates while sitting. You can become a somewhat of a cheat code because you see the whole dynamic of the game from offense to defense and you can direct your teammates on the floor by communicating even from the bench
The Merlins had no American in the game and mostly German players. What German player do you feel benefited most from the situation against Ulm?
I think all benefited equally. If I had to say who’s our engine on both defense and offense I’d say Fabi Bleck. He’s the most underrated player in the league to me. And I truly believe he’s a EuroCup/Euroleague player. His IQ on both defense and offense is UNBELIEVABLE. And he’s tough on top of that. He brings it every game. He’s someone I would love to play with every year. He deserves much more credit than what’s given
Crailsheim has one more game playing for pride as opponent EWE Baskets have a must win situation. What kind of game can we await and what will be key to winning it?
Play to win! Have fun and COMPETE!
You have seen many BBL players this season, but what kind of impression has Ricky Paulding left on you in the short time you have been in Germany?
I’m from Michigan so I’ve been knowing of Ricky Paulding since I was younger. He was no surprise to me. He’s one of the best to play in Europe and he’s one of the best to come out of Michigan. I still think he has a few more years left in the tank to be quite honest. He’s a legend.
Thanks Javontae for the chat.